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Old 06-11-2017, 06:06 AM   #51
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While Erick was floundering a bit, Brittany tried her best to tell him how to get to the bridge. "The flyer wasn't too generous with details, but...I was told that it's just past the outskirts of the village itself, facing the east where Celadon is. Actually, the locals don't talk about it often because they don't think it's safe... many of the villagers think it's safer to use the longer route through Mount Moon and the Saffron Jungle. And I decided that it didn't sound much safer either."
"Well," Erick mused, "I don't think we'd need to cross it all the way, just look around for Flying-type Pokemon. Any area with cliffs like that is bound to have some, right?" He looked to Sidney who was busy with the Shroomish before looking at him and nodding toward the Grass-types, noting they were okay with it. "Mud, Mud!" the Water-type runs up to him and starts scratching at his legs. "What is it?" Erick paused to ask.
"Um... Is something wrong?" Brittany added. Sidney and Veego are then deep in conversation with this Mudkip. Erick's gaze fell upon the wounds of the poor Pokemon as it stayed by his side and refused to let go. Eventually, it gave a salute to the Shroomish before nudging into his ankle, urging him forward. "Whoa, what are you doing??" he yelped with a startle.
"I think Mudkip wants to follow to make sure we help the Shroomish as soon as we can," Brittany explained before turning to the Shroomish. "Uh... you don't have to worry! We need the Mossy Rock as much as you do."
"Yeah, we'll come back soon, we promise! Just don't do anything raaaash!?" he yelped again as he felt pressure on his other ankle, and he looked down to find his Bulbasaur friend doing the same thing the Mudkip was doing, the both of them together forcing the human to start walking. "Sidney, you too!?" he complained. He hadn't even gotten used to one Pokemon pushing him everywhere, and now there were two of them!? "This is gonna be like one of those running gags on that old TV show about Mr. Ketchum, isn't it?"
"Bulba bulbasaur~" Sidney grinned, catching an occasional glance toward the Water-type he was helping. He felt really good about this new friend of theirs they were making, and once they dealt with the Parasect at the Moss Rock he was going to do everything in his power to not only convince this Mudkip to come with him but also get Erick to accept it onto his team.

*****

Erick started walking without being pushed to do so as soon as he got the chance, and getting back to the entrance of the forest was thankfully trivial, but, while they set down the new path that would, according to Brittany, lead to the Viridescent Bridge, Erick looked at the Mudkip accompanying them and stopped. "Okay, I can't keep looking at you without wanting to do something about those wounds on you." He looked through his bag and pulled out an Oran Berry. "Here, eat this, it should help you a lot." Holding out the hand with the fruit in it towards the Water-type's face, he added, "I'm not walking another step until you do." One other thought came to mind while he was kneeling down in front of this Pokemon: why was Mudkip, as well as the Poliwag from earlier, so eager to fight that Parasect when it could have just minded its own business? They had to have come from the lake they found, the Moss Rock couldn't have been that important to Pokemon from a completely different area from the Viridian Forest, right?

Once that was resolved, the group pressed forward until they reached the rickety rope bridge, and Erick only needed one look at the bridge for trepidation to fill his muscles. "Er, maybe it's not too late to find some other place-"
"Mudmud!" The impatient Mudkip is back on the trainer's heels, with Sidney once again joining in with a grin. "Or we could cross the scary bridge, that's good too," the human said nervously, at the same time thinking, Sid, you do realize this is dangerous and totally not fun, right? His first few steps on the bridge are shaky, but the bridge holds strong nonetheless, and he is at least given enough courage--well, more like encouragement--to keep going, holding both sides of the ropes with each hand. Brittany also walks onto the bridge, with both hands on one side of the ropes, while Veego clung to her tightly. "We can do this, Veego," she assured him, though it didn't seem like her words were having much effect at the moment.

Ten minutes pass, and barely any progress was made across the bridge. Walking across this bridge, risking it collapsing and sending everyone to the river far below them...was it really worth finding a single Flying-type Pokemon? Suddenly Brittany calls out, "Look, Erick! There's a ladder built into the structure.It must have been left behind for maintenance. Maybe we can get our bearings over there and climb down to - d-d-d-did you hear that?!"

"Hear what?" Erick asked. Maybe Brittany had better hearing than Erick did, but it wasn't until Brittany's mood shifted to a familiar one of fear that he started paying attention to the buzzing. It sounded like it was from a distance, but it was already loud, and it sounded like there was more than one of them. Erick dared to peek out below the bridge and discovered many creatures with red bodies flying up toward them, the wings could barely be seen fluttering very quickly, and as they came up to meet the group their large green eyes stared at them, their intent unknown at the moment. "Yanma!" Erick shouted in surprise. "These guys might do the trick!" He turned to the three Pokemon with them on the bridge, noticing Brittany turn pale with fright. "Okay, if we want them to help us, now's your chance to talk to them!"

Looking back at the Yanma, he had no clue why they flew up to investigate; he had a pretty hard time reading the mannerisms of Bug-types in general, and he had barely interacted with Autumn to even learn such a thing. His mind was cast back to his older brother telling the story about how a hive of Beedrill traumatized him, and he hoped these Yanma were much less malicious than that. One thing was for sure: he really didn't want to get into a battle with these dragonflies right now, especially not on a bridge where those Pokemon could easily either knock the group of five off of or just completely destroy with a few forceful beats of their wings if they so desired. Erick soon found himself holding onto the rope tighter and his own skin turning white...looks like it was up to the Pokemon to sort things out!
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Old 06-20-2017, 11:33 PM   #52
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Brittany's renewed state of panic is understandable, and you don't want to get into a conflict on such an unstable perch, but you also realise one important thing: Yanma are also Flying-type Pokémon, and are a fit for the criterion that put you on this detour to begin with. The biggest snag with that plan is Brittany's issues with insects, and while you don't share her phobia you can somewhat empathise with her situation. As the Yanma fly closer you look into their omnidirectional eyes, a feeling of unease gripping you as your knuckles grip the vibrating rope barrier.

"N... n-n-n... nooo!" As soon as the Yanma rise to meet her at eye-level Brittany finally snaps, bolting for the concrete tower ahead. The bridge lurches and lunges underneath you from the frantic girl's unrestrained footsteps, and you nearly taste the scent of doom as your feet are lifted off the bridge for a fraction of a second. It feels like the colloquial moments one experiences before perishing. Sidney and Mudkip try to hold on, with Veego worriedly, uncertainly going after his mistress, and you try to follow.

"No, please! I'm sorry, I - ackh! Ngkh... hhngh!" You hear fragments of Brittany's frightened monologue, before she falls onto her knees, clutching her mouth and collarbone while her voice gives way. Her body shakes violently along with the bridge, skin turning white as she visibly struggles to breathe. You wonder about her condition, but with one hand holding onto the rope bridge for dear life and the other onto her, it's difficult to do anything but try and survive. Sidney and Veego press themselves against you, and exclaim in concern - the Yanma have followed you!

"Mudmumud!" Raising its head, the Mudkip angrily addresses your pursuers before throwing out a glob of - you're not quite sure what it is, but it definitely wasn't water, and it strikes one of the Yanma on its face. Instantly the bug spirals about in mid-air, its flight pattern becoming erratic and unsteady. The remaining four don't take kindly to this, each beating their wings at a ferocious rate, and you feel the wind tear into your cheeks, forcing your eyes shut. How could everything go so wrong, at such short notice?

The last thing you remember feeling is the sensation of your fingers peeled off the rope keeping you tethered.

***

When you wake up you have the distinct sensation of two things nuzzling you in the face. It takes you a longer while to pull yourself back up together, because honestly, everything hurts. A gash of pain goes up your arm, but after some careful testing, you are relieved to find that nothing is broken, save for a mess of branches and leaves strewn around. You can only assume that the forest vegetation cushioned the most damaging parts of your fall, but you obviously didn't come out completely unscathed. Abrasions and tears cover your limbs, and you see Sidney and Veego at your feet, evidently the nuzzlers from before. But there's no Mudkip, and more worryingly, no Brittany. Looking up, you can barely make out the concrete support tower from before some distance away, but it's hard to gauge from the forest trees blocking out half the sky. Sidney shakes his head, having just as much idea as you do, and Veego paws at your foot in urgency.
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Old 07-18-2017, 01:28 AM   #53
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As the Yanma advanced towards the group on the bridge, they were honestly at their mercy as none of them could afford to take any drastic moves without endangering them and everyone else on the bridge. A fact Brittany either failed to recognize or simply ignored as her fear took over. "N... n-n-n... nooo!" she stammered before she bolted back towards the side of the bridge they came from, resulting in the shaky bridge becoming even shakier, Erick nearly losing his footing. “Ack! Careful, Brittany!” he warned, but she was in no condition to listen. "No, please! I'm sorry, I - ackh! Ngkh... hhngh!" she utters before shutting down completely and just sits there shaking even further, with Veego trying to get back to his trainer. Everyone else tried to follow back but were very slow in doing so.

Then both Sidney and Veego cowered next to Erick and called out behind them, and he looked back to see the Yanma had followed them, perhaps curious about their visitors. "Mudmumud!" the little Water-type shouted, clearly unsettled by the insects as it spat out what looked like mud but could have easily been something else and hit one of the Yanma right in the eyes, blinding it for the moment. This, in turn, set off the other Yanma as they returned fire with a series of powerful wind-based attacks, forcing Erick to close his eyes as the blasts of wind beat against him, holding on for dear life.

But he couldn’t hold on forever. Even as his fingers lost purchase of the rope, everything around him went silent...black…

This was really the end?

**********

Nope, not really!

One thing nuzzled against his face. Then a second. He slowly opened his eyes to see Sidney and Veego’s faces stuffed in front of his, Sidney taking this moment to lick his cheek, knowing that usually woke him up. “Mmmmm… Owwwwwww…” he groaned, slow to get up from all the pain, especially the one in his arm. Thankfully, there was only cuts and bruises he had to deal with, but they were all over, and as for his favorite vest...he’d rather spare the details. Sidney and Veego were at his feet at the moment, urging him to stand up, but there was no sign of either Brittany or Mudkip. “Urgh, I know, guys, we’ve gotta find them!” he strained to say, but the bruises and cuts made him wince every time he tried to stand. Maybe if he could stop the bleeding he’d feel better, but how…?

“I’ve got an idea. Autumn, I need your help!” He opened the Pokeball to reveal his Caterpie, who upon materializing was immediately concerned for her trainer. “I’ll be fine, I just need you to use String Shot on the biggest cuts on my body so we can stop the bleeding there.” Autumn squeaked in confusion, not knowing how to do such a thing, but Erick was okay with whatever she was about to do. “Just do what you can,” he said. “And do it quick, we have to find Brittany and Mudkip!”
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Old 10-19-2017, 04:05 AM   #54
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It takes you a while to pull yourself together, and the patchwork of cuts and bruises all over your skin don't help matters, but it seems that you can at least stand up and move without feeling fractured. Slightly unnerved at your physical state, your Caterpie nonetheless tries her best at spewing globs of her string onto you as directed. It takes a while for you to get used to the adhesive texture - perhaps it's the stickiness that helps get your mind off the throbbing pain - but it's an alternative to open exposure at any rate, which was the effect you wanted. You lumber on, not sure of where you're going aside from the pressing urgency of finding Brittany.

Perhaps luckily, you don't have to wander the undergrowth for eternity as Veego goes into full swing, trying to sniff out the familiar scent of his Trainer. It certainly beats navigating the messy, massive forest yourself, though the question of finding your way back does pose a significant problem afterwards. All you can hope for is that Brittany and Mudkip are still in one piece - or holding it together like you are trying to - and you can get the attention you need as soon as possible.

The isolation and ambient whispers of nature are all that surround you, and while you're not on the verge of any mental fraying, it does provide a menacing foreboding on the whole affair. This was supposed to be an innocent escort mission, after all; who would've imagined things to escalate so quickly? Sidney and Autumn lean in close to you, apparently just as uneager to linger so far off the track, while Veego darts about in front of you, trying to get a scent of Brittany.

"V-v-ee!"

It turns out that even you end up with a good hunch of where Brittany is. As the trees above you begin to open up with patches of sunlight pouring down, Veego suddenly raises his ears and runs behind your ankles in alarm. There's no denying it now; as you narrow your eyes there is the unmistakable, familiar hum of rapidly beating wings. A thicket of lianas, suspended from towering branches, lies ahead of your group, surrounded by a "moat" of leaf litter. You feel Veego tremble against your ankle - it seems likely that this is where Brittany ended up, and likelier still that she isn't alone.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:56 AM   #55
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Autumn got to work applying her String Shot to Erick's open wounds, and it was the first time he felt the sticky silk of a Bug Pokemon on his skin. It was going to be a pain to remove later, but it was better than the alternative, and it felt nice once it was allowed to stay for a short time...no wonder some people used to let Bug Pokemon wrap them up in the stuff before going to sleep!

"Thanks, Autumn, I feel much better now," said Erick, patting his Caterpie's head, to which she squealed with delight. "Okay, I'm ready to find our friends!" Still slow to get up, he nonetheless pressed on with Veego leading the way, his tracking Brittany's scent the main reason they weren't getting lost. Looking at the Eevee now, he realized how much work they had done, how much they had yet to do just to get him evolved. And what happened to Brittany and the Mudkip? Were they separated and all alone too...or worse? Sidney stayed close to Erick's legs while Autumn had gotten on his shoulder for the time being, enjoying a little time out of her Pokeball though aware of the dangers of straying too far and instead being as close as possible to her trainer. The farthest ahead was Veego, desperate to reunite with his own trainer, sniffing around the forest until finally...

"V-v-ee!" Veego suddenly ran back behind Erick, feeling very nervous. Up ahead was a clearing with a large amount of leaves piled up around a patch of trees, and in the thicket could be heard the same buzzing that caught the group off guard back on the bridge, and Erick could only assume this was what the large dragonflies called their nest. With Veego quivering next to Erick, he could only surmise that the Normal-type found Brittany somewhere in those trees, the Yanma with her at the very least. What was most disturbing, however, was not the sound of the Yanma buzzing but rather...the lack of a certain sound. No screaming from the girl at the top of her lungs. No cries from a certain Water Pokemon.

Nothing but buzzing.

"Brittanyyy!?" Erick called out, fearing the worst. "Mudkiiiip!? If you can hear me, answer me! We're on our way there!"
"Bulbaaaa!" Sidney added, hoping his Mudkip friend was there too. If there was no answer, they'd have to make their way over there somehow, and hopefully the Yanma or whatever was in there wouldn't take offense to their intrusion...
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Old 11-02-2017, 05:36 AM   #56
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Veego's reaction and the familiar, sinister hum in the air clue you in that there can only be one conclusion: the Yanma are ahead of you, likely the same ones you encountered. Brittany was probably nearby as well, but if she was, there were no obvious signs pointing to it aside from you reading Veego's behaviour. You choose to call out in hopes of a reply, Sidney adding his own input as your shouts break through the vegetated ambience. You hold your breath momentarily, and a few seconds later...

"Mud! Kip mudkip mud! Grrrr..."

That settles it. You almost charge forward, prying back layers of swaying lianas to reveal the hideaway behind them. Several smaller shrubs dot the miniature field alongside moss-covered rocks, framing a circle of sunlight beaming from above, which forms a garden-like vibe for the separate area - almost like a paradise among the forest's treacherous unknown. But more importantly, Mudkip stands defiantly in front of a collapsed figure, and a glance confirms it to be Brittany, her tote bag limply hanging by her side. You can't quite tell how badly injured she is, more so with the Yanma flying about Mudkip, who doesn't take too kindly to being surrounded. Oddly enough, only four of the Yanma are mid-air while another lies on the ground, abdomen twitching and wings barely flickering.

"Vee!"

"Zzzzz..."

Before Veego can lunge for his Trainer one of the Yanma breaks formation, diving for the Eevee - this has the intended effect of forcing the Normal-type in its tracks, as it bares its all-encompassing, green glare at him. Another flaps down to its ally on the grass, looking somewhat thoughtful as it observes the grounded Yanma's condition, before joining the first one in staring Veego down. Mudkip paws the floor, not happy about the situation at all, but apparently unwilling to put Brittany at any further risk. It seems that unless you figure out a way to intervene, this is as far as you'll go.
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Old 11-03-2017, 06:27 AM   #57
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"Mud! Kip mudkip mud!"

That was the answer Mudkip made before growling at whatever was in there with it. But there was still no response from Brittany! "We're coming!" Erick announced before running in with the three Pokemon accompanying him, pushing the foliage away to reveal Brittany, not moving and...hopefully just unconscious, with Mudkip defending her from the four Yanma above- wait, four? Weren't there five of them? Erick looked down to find the fifth in a similar condition to Brittany, injured, weak, and barely moving.

"Vee!" Veego cried out as he ran towards his trainer, but one of the Yanma cuts him off, the two Pokemon glaring at each other. Another Yanma lands next to its injured friend, checking on it before joining its other friend in glaring at the newcomers. Meanwhile, Mudkip stared back, ready to charge should something break the tension in a bad way but knowing whatever it did would endanger the human with it.

As the tension grew Erick looked at the injured Yanma...could it have been the one Mudkip attacked before all hell broke loose? Maybe if he healed the Yanma it could dispel the building tension in the area, but he would have to get close to the bug first. "Bulbasaur..." Sidney groaned sadly, not sure if his stepping in would make things worse, while Autumn looked at the Yanma with curiosity as she had not seen them before. "You two stick close to me, all right?" Erick asked his Pokemon. "Especially you, Autumn, the last thing I need is for you to be lunch for these Yanma." Once he got nods from both Pokemon, he took a step forward.

"Yanma! We don't want to hurt you, we just got off on the wrong foot! (Didn't help that we were on a rickety rope bridge when you showed up.) I'm sorry your friend got attacked, but I can help them out if you'll let me!" He then took a Potion out from his bag and held both hands up in a submissive pose with one hand holding the spray. "This is something that can heal your friend, but I have to get close in order to use it!" Sidney tried his best to relay the gist of Erick's message to the Pokemon in case they didn't understand his trainer, while both the Bulbasaur and Caterpie got themselves ready to battle if the Yanma started getting aggressive. The scene continued to rise in tension, and everything depended on what the Yanma would allow Erick to do.
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Old 11-08-2017, 11:18 AM   #58
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It doesn't take long for you to guess what transpired when you were away, and with everyone else either incapacitated or ready to fly at another's throat, it looks like it'll be up to you to diplomatically figure a way out of this mess. Both your Pokémon stick close to you for safety as you pull out a Potion from your bag, offering your assistance to the Yanma. The two dragonflies in front exchange glances, little more than moving pupils thanks to their omnipresent vision, sparing a few moments to look back at their allies before slowly backing away. You take this as an invitation to move forward at their pace, heart pumping in your throat with every passing second. The faint buzz of air from beating wings trembles against your neck as the Yanma flank you, remaining within striking range...

You observe the quivering bug below you, and now that you have the opportunity for a closer look it doesn't seem that the Yanma is particularly damaged - certainly not like when you took a tumble and got bruised and scratched for your troubles. Instead the Yanma quivers like it has trouble breathing and a discoloured patch is distinct on its forehead, emanating from a dark splatter blocking its eyes.

"Wh..."

Your thought is disrupted by a familiar voice, and you feel your stomach drop as you realise what this means. All eyes turn towards Brittany as she stirs slowly, bringing a hand to her forehead while her body reboots. "Oww..." groans the girl, blinking a few times until she realises what she's surrounded by.

"Ee...!" Instantly her hand moves to her mouth, instinctively clamping her scream shut as she begins to fluster. Mudkip leans against her, pawing the ground protectively as its fin bristles in anger, and the Yanma's buzzing goes up by another notch. Looks like it's not just the Yanma you'll have to pacify now...
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Old 11-10-2017, 03:49 PM   #59
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The Yanma seemed convinced of Erick's intentions, and as they backed off, he approached as slowly as they allowed it until he got close enough to their injured companion. Wait a minute, this dragonfly didn't look injured much if at all, it just has something in its eye...this must have been the same one Mudkip attacked! "I thought it was just a Mud-Slap or a Mud Bomb attack that hit you," Erick spoke to the Yanma, "but now that I'm getting a better look...Regular mud doesn't leave you on the ground, barely able to breathe--sure it'd hurt if it got in your eyes like you got from this attack, but neither of those attacks would do this to you, especially not to a Flying Pokemon like you." He looked over to the Mudkip, who was busy defending Brittany; this little amphibian was even more special than he thought, and it wasn't just because of how rare its species was. "I wonder..."

"Wh..." That was what Erick heard at that precise moment, and Erick felt relief that Brittany was okay but stress at the same time as it meant she would be aware of whose home she would be waking up in. "Oww..." she moaned further as she finally forced her eyes open, and Erick braced himself for what was to come. "Ee...!" came the predictable squeal as she silenced herself with her hand, everyone else tensing up further.

"Brittany..." Erick called out to her as calmly as he could in the situation, putting his hand out to assist in the effort. "Don't...move...and stay quiet. I'm going to try to fix everything, just...don't do anything sudden." Next he looked to Sidney. "Sid, I need you to trade places with Mudkip. It's your job to keep Brittany safe, okay?" There was a nod from his Bulbasaur, but it was at that moment when Erick also felt a small weight shift from his shoulder slowly down his back, and he looked behind him to see Autumn crawling down his back, then his leg. "Uh, Autumn? What are you doing, sweetheart, I told you to stick close to me..."

Instead of listening, she slowly inched her way over to where Mudkip was but didn't get any closer to the Yanma than the Mudkip. The Caterpie looked at the cowering girl, then to the Yanma, before standing herself up facing against the other Bug Pokemon. "Autumn...you want to protect her? Are you sure?" he asked her. She nods and squeaks enthusiastically; it didn't matter to her that the girl she was defending might be afraid of her, nor was she afraid of being something the Yanma might normally see as a potential meal (though maybe she wasn't even aware of this fact...), she saw her trainer's friend in distress, and she wanted to do her part in keeping Brittany safe, something she would tell the Mudkip near her. "You really don't know what kind of danger you're putting yourself in, do you?" Erick muttered to himself. "Okay, but Sidney's going over there to help you! ...Please, Sid, make sure nothing happens to her or Brittany, okay?"

After another nod from Sidney, he then focused his attention on the Water Pokemon. "Mudkip, I think I know how to fix this, but I need your help. Sidney and Autumn can protect Brittany for you, I need you to come over here and..gently..spit some water and wash off whatever it is you did to this Yanma over here. Once that's done..." Erick searched through his bag for a Pecha Berry and looked at the injured Yanma. "All you need to do is eat this berry, and you should feel much better!" Everything felt tense, and one false move would likely ruin everything, but at least Erick had a plan now that he potentially knew what he was working with...
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:47 AM   #60
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Watching as new information and problems pop up gives you the sentiment that this must be what a tight-rope walker feels like - and it so happens that your Caterpie, perhaps tired of being left on the sidelines or willing to attempt bridging the gap between her and Brittany, offers to join Sidney and watch over the girl so you and Mudkip can perform medical intervention. The Pokémon move under the watchful, bulging eyes of the four Yanma, who appear to permit this switch in positions; not that it makes the situation any less unnerving. That leaves Brittany's previous reception of Autumn, but she seems to be taking it better than you expected - or at least, she appears to be restricting herself to hiccups behind her palm clasped over mouth.

That leaves Mudkip and the Yanma it attacked, and while the Water-type frowns at the grounded Yanma, it nods firmly as you instruct it, understanding that this might be the best chance all of you have to walk away unscathed. A dribble of water is breathed over Yanma, and for a brief moment you hear the beating of Yanma wings sharpen in pitch... before stopping, in conjunction with Mudkip's splashing. Some of the sludge oozes off, the rest of it having hardened over who knows who long, but Mudkip manages to repeat the manoeuvre, loosing the rest of the toxic muck. You recognise your cue to move in with the Pecha Berry, to which the Yanma manages to lean in and press its insect mandibles to. You hear the pricking sound of pierced fruit as Yanma feeds, and you find yourself biting your lip in anticipation. Eventually, and thankfully, you watch the poisoned pallor fade from Yanma's expression, feeling your shoulders relax. Two of Yanma's friends flit around it, while Mudkip steps back to give the patient a berth to flap its wings, slowly lifting its feet off the grass. Yanma looks healthy enough, maybe sufficient to grant all of you passage, but -

"N-n-n-n-no, please..." You hear Brittany's whimpering past trembling fingers, and you lift your head to see tears pouring from her eyes. Even Veego nudging himself against her ankles don't seem to be helping. Uh oh...
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Old 12-02-2017, 07:01 AM   #61
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Everything seemed to work out as far as getting things set up as Sidney and Autumn were able to switch places with Mudkip without the Yanma making any moves against them, plus Brittany was able to...well, at least tolerate Autumn's presence while Erick tended to the injured dragonfly. By his guidance, Mudkip dribbled over the Yanma's eye, getting off some of the gunk but not all of it; thankfully, a second application of water washed away what had been stuck there before. All that was left to do was hand over the pink, heart-shaped fruit to the insect, and once it was nibbled completely away the expression of the Yanma changed to a much healthier looking one. "Ha, it worked!" Erick gave a sigh of relief, backing away along with Mudkip and watching as the once sickened Bug-type took flight. "Thanks for helping me fix things, Mudkip," he told the Water-type, but that was all he got out before he heard:

"N-n-n-n-no, please..."

Erick looked back to see the other human grow more horrified in expression in conjunction with the Yanma flying around their companion, her whimpering grew worse, and not even Veego could calm her down. He had to act fast, so he turned around and grabbed one of her shoulders. "Shhhhshshsh, it's alright, nothing's going to hurt you, okay?" he said as calmly as he could. "Now, listen to me, I'm right here, and I won't let anything happen to you." He took a lighter grip on the other shoulder in an attempt to be the focus of her gaze. "No, shhhh, look at me, don't look at them. Everything's going to be alright, we just got off on the wrong foot with them, that's all. Apparently our little blue friend here knows how to use a Poison attack--I'm guessing Sludge by the way it looked--and it really got to the one Yanma it attacked. That's probably why they were really mad at us, because we attacked first when they were only curious about us. But I think I was able to cure the poison from that one Yanma, so hopefully they're in a better mood to talk. Now stay with me: you have to stay calm, otherwise things'll get crazy all over again. That's the whole reason we're here in the first place, it's because we were on that dumb bridge, and we all just panicked. But we're safer down here, there's no risk of falling!" He leaned in closer to Brittany's face. "And this time I'm here to help you, okay? I'm here to help, and so's Veego, Sidney, and Autumn too, if you'll let her! You see her?" He glanced over to his Caterpie, who hadn't moved an inch out of respect for the girl's fears, and smiled. "To be honest, I figured she'd be crawling right up to you by now, but...yeah, I can tell, she wants nothing more than to see you overcome your fear of Bug Pokemon, but she's afraid too...she's afraid you'll do something to scare her off, and that's what would hurt her the most! Please, won't you let her help you...let us help you?"

"Bulbasaur..." Sidney by this point had joined in to help Veego in nudging her leg, while Autumn still stood exactly where she was, trying to convey her plea as best as she could given her limits as a larval stage insect.
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