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Old 10-19-2020, 10:49 PM   #551
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Tempest considered what the pair of Dusknoir said about Ginny before admitting, "Understandable. Though I'll take your words for it, if you don't mind. I'd...rather not cross her, even by accident."

She then retook her seat, followed by Cirrus who made himself comfortable in front of Mirage's plate.

"She'd be right," Prince said, grinning, and then he padded after his teammates. "When I heard there was steak, there was no way I was gonna let Tempest leave me behind."

---

Zephyr nodded as Bart and Pangoro reassured her that the pair would speak up if they got bored. "Works for us." She then returned to the previous topic. "But, yeah. We're...not really sure what to do about it."

"Honestly, I think the weirdest part of the whole thing is that Prince--the Houndour from earlier?--went along with one of her Hatchery schemes and didn't seem upset when he came back without his kid," Vine mused. "He wasn't happy, but it also sounds like he didn't fight her on it either."

"The difference, I think, is that he actually got to meet the trainer his kid went to," Zephyr pointed out wryly before turning to the trio on the ground. "But Annabelle's been trying to keep them hidden from the rest of us, for some reason."

"'Not the right time', apparently," Vine quoted sarcastically, rolling his eyes. He then shook his head. "I don't understand why he didn't just Dark Pulse her into next week, but he probably had a reason. Probably."

---

Eve tilted her head thoughtfully as she listened to Jack explain Cyanide. "Well, alright then. Figures that any Eeveelution owned by Keith would have a Poison connection." She shook her head, clearly amused. "I'll try not to piss her off when I talk to her then." She then reached out a paw for the Transformed Ditto to take her to the Umbreon.

--

Melissa grinned as Homer sassed Eddie and then nodded as Eddie explained some of his Pokémon's relationships with each other. "Sounds pretty headstrong, but at least he's not ignoring you when it'd be the worst." She took a seat on the grass with her legs crossed. "And makes sense that a Drowzee would look up to an Alakazam." She glanced over at the Weedle, recalling one of the...many, many things she'd heard about Keith, his expansive team, and some of the others who'd moved to the Sludge Wave Coast. "And that'd be Hermione, right? The Weedle who cooks and does a lot of writing?"

Mirage giggled at Homer's response, but ducked back behind Melissa as Remy approached. She peeked shyly him. "Nice to meet you too, Remy."

"Nice to meet you, too," Wildfire parroted and then turned to look curiously at Battery. "By the way, what'd you want earlier?"
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Old 10-20-2020, 03:21 AM   #552
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"Fair enough," Peeves nodded as Tempest maintained a reluctance to even risk getting on Ginny's bad side.

With it established beyond any conceivable doubt that Prince did indeed want steak, Liliana floated back over to Maribel and relayed this. Maribel grinned and had a suitable plate all set for the Houndour once he arrived. Cirrus would find a nice helping of berries in with the salad that Mirage had left, and Tempest would find her food to have been completely undisturbed since she'd left it. It was around this point that some of the Pokémon rotated yet again- the Yanmega, Absol, and Arbok had left, and now a Qwilfish had Teleported in, a Pincurchin and Pyukumuku having come along with him. Ginny was still eating her food, and conversing with the Ledian as she did so. Occasionally she would glance over at the guests, though with a slightly less mistrustful look. The conversation itself couldn't be made out, but between the aforementioned glances in their direction, and the Ledian sometimes gesturing that way as well, one could very reasonably make an assumption as to the general topic of discussion.

The snow and ice-colored Mightyena had left as well, though the normal-colored one remained, and in fact approached Tempest and her teammates. "Hello," he greeted them. "I saw what happened a few minutes ago, and I wanted to apologize for Ginny- she shares my fiercely loyal and protective nature towards our Trainer, though as you've seen, she's also quite paranoid as well."

"Sirius, Peeves and I have already explained about Ginny," Liliana spoke up.

"Oh, good," nodded the Mightyena. "Well, then, welcome to the Poisonous Palace. Who might you all be? I'm Sirius, as you've heard."

~~~~~

As they continued to talk about Annabelle's schemes, Vine remarked on how the Houndour they saw earlier went along with things, and didn't seem too upset with the end result. Not thrilled, but not upset, with Zephyr pointing out the distinction there- apparently, Prince actually got to meet the Trainer that his kid was going to. "Oh, I'd say that's important," nodded Salazar. "Any of my teammates would want to be assured that their children were going to loving, caring Trainers."

"Hell, yeah," nodded Bart. "I ever find a lady what can handle the Bart style, and she ends up belonging to some other Trainer, any kid we have better damn well be going to, if not Keith, then a damn good Trainer. One who's cool with visits and treats 'em right."

"Thinking about kids, Bart?" Salazar remarked, sounding mildly amused. "Never took you for the fatherly type. Besides, last I checked, Scrafty and Timburr are in completely different Egg groups."

"What, Millicent?" chuckled Bart. "Where've you been? I ain't hit on her in a long time!"

"Oh, so the repeated head trauma finally clued you in?" chuckled the Scolipede.

"Yeah, well... I mean, back then, I thought she was just making it up about having a man already," mumbled the Scrafty. "And then she's all, y'know, cuz he... so yeah, then I realized she wasn't BSing me after all, and I just... like, wouldn't have been right, y'know?"

"Oh, yeah," murmured Pangoro. "That was before my time, but I heard about that- her boyfriend had died, hadn't he?"

"Like... You don't hit on someone when she's all mourning and grieving over her dead boyfriend," Bart said quietly. "I'm a punk, not an asshole."

Salazar nodded slowly. "Indeed," he said approvingly.

~~~~~

"Yeah, for sure," chuckled Jack as Eve remarked that it'd make sense for an Eeveelution owned by Keith Masters to have some sort of connection to the Poison type. As she reached out with her paw, Jack took it with an Abra hand, and the two of them were Teleported away at once.

The next thing Eve knew, they were indoors, in a large spacious room, with a number of empty seats facing a large raised platform, upon which some battling was taking place. A Flareon was shooting jets of fire from his mouth, and a Duskull whose cloak had the appearance of a giant chocolate chip cookie, laughing gleefully, was dodging some, deflecting others with bolts of Night Shade, and all the while, trying to get in a bit closer. Once he managed that, he gave a laugh. "Scent of cookies!" the Duskull cried out, emitting, well, a Sweet Scent, making the room smell like fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. The Flareon started salivating, losing his focus, and by the time he remembered he was friggin' battling, the Duskull had already nailed him in the head with a Shadow Ball!

At this point, an Umbreon stepped forward, with a white-furred Eevee running around excitedly. "Alright, that's enough for now," the Umbreon said. "Chip, don't you have dinner to be eating?"

"Not cookies, but point taken!" nodded the Duskull, promptly sinking into the floor.

"And you, young man," the Umbreon added, making her way over to the Flareon who was getting back up. "You're getting better. Still let that Sweet Scent distract you, though."

"Ahh, Chip's got an unfair advantage," mumbled the Flareon. "Nearly dinnertime and he makes it smell like cookies."

"Yeah, right," giggled the Shiny Eevee teasingly. "That'd never distract me?"

"Oh, yeah?" the Flareon shot back.

"Yeah!"

"Oh, yeah??"

"Yeah!!"

The Umbreon gave a chuckle as her son and daughter continued on in this manner, and then she noticed the newcomers. Jack had already turned back into his normal blobby self, so she recognized him, but the Eevee was a decidedly new face. "Who are you?" she asked, jumping down from the elevated platform and approaching the Eevee.

~~~~~

"Oh, yes," Eddie agreed as Melissa pointed out that Homer was at least not ignoring him at seriously bad times. "Homer at least knows there's a time and place for his attitude. He knows when he has to get serious, and when he does, it's nothing to take lightly," he said seriously. He sat down on the grass as well, just before Melissa remarked on Hermione, having already apparently heard of her. "Ah, her reputation precedes her, I see," chuckled Eddie, holding out a hand, allowing Hermione to crawl up his arm and onto his shoulder. "Yes, yes indeed," he nodded. "Much as I'd love to take credit for her capabilities, most of that should rightfully be chalked up to natural talent as well as her previous Trainer- she used to be on Keith's team before we met, though considering you've heard of her already, I think it may be safe to say you know that already," he chuckled. "She joined me out of a desire to assist in my research, and we've proven to be a promising team already. I even Dynamaxed her once, against this Gigantamax Appletun earlier this year- now that was an interesting experience."

Remy looked a little downcast as Mirage initially shied away from him, but his smile returned as the Galarian Ponyta replied to him, returning his greeting in kind. "Is... everything alright?" the Drowzee asked quietly, noticing the Unique Horn Pokémon's rather obvious shyness. "I, I didn't scare you, did I?"

Battery grinned as Wildfire addressed him. "Actually I was just wondering who you guys were, I never saw you guys before," the prickly Pikaclone replied.

"I WAS ALSO CURIOUS AS TO THAT," droned the Electrode, who rolled over to the Togedemaru's side. "ALTHOUGH I FEEL AS THOUGH I HAVE SEEN YOUR TRAINER BEFORE. BY ANY CHANCE, DOES SHE OWN A CHINCHOU?"
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Old 10-20-2020, 06:48 PM   #553
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The trio of guests dug into their food, finally having a chance to try someone else's cooking. Cirrus plucked out all the berries first before tackling the leaves, while his teammates showed no particular preference; all three agreed that the food was good, though. They did glance around as Pokémon rotated in and out of the kitchen, Prince pointing out the famous Qwilfish to his teammates as Cirrus kept the occasional eye on Ginny and Stewie.

When they were a good ways through their food, the regular Mightyena of the pair came over to say hello and introduced himself as Sirius.

Tempest swallowed her current bite and gave him a brief bow of her head. "Well met, Sirius, and thank you for the welcome. I'm Tempest. This is Cirrus--" She gestured at the Swablu, who chirped "Hi!". "--and Prince." Prince barked a short "Hello!" before returning to his steak. "Ginny was...understandably concerned when Peeves said that I'd come to ask Keith about how to counter Poison-types, but I figured who better to ask than one of, if not the, leading expert on Poison-types in Fizzytopia?"

She shrugged, paused, and then glanced sidelong at Prince. Prince blinked innocently up at her and continued gnawing on his steak. Cirrus hid a laugh with a shuffle of his wings and busied himself with searching for another berry in his salad.

Tempest turned back to Sirius with a grin tugging at her lips. "Suffice to say, he invited me for dinner and it felt impolite to refuse, so here we are."

---

Vine tilted his head to consider the trio's words on meeting their hypothetical kids' trainers. "I s'ppose that makes sense," he admitted. "Though you won't see me visiting the Hatchery anytime soon."

"Personally, I didn't mind," Zephyr said quietly, keeping half an ear on the trio's conversation as they shifted to...a Timburr who hadn't come up in the conversation before. "It's not like we couldn't track down my kid if we really wanted to either."

Vine opened his mouth to snap something back and then slowly shut it, looking torn. Zephyr peered curiously at him, but Vine just shook his head and tuned back in to the conversation on the ground, just as the trio were finishing up.

He winced. "Ooo, that sounds awkward." He then ran their earlier words through his mind. "Isn't that the Timburr with the haunted log or something? Or am I mixing gossip?"

---

Eve blinked and found herself in a large room with lots of seats, facing some kind of battle stage where a Flareon and a...chocolate-chip Duskull were having a battle. She shook her head and checked again. Yup, the Duskull was wearing a chocolate-chip-patterned cloak. Alright then. That was...a thing.

She sat down next to Jack, who'd returned to his regular Ditto form, and watched as the Flareon was distracted by the smell of freshly-baked cookies for just long enough to be smacked by a Shadow Ball. Which she tried not to laugh at because that was absolutely a legitimate tactic for an opponent who could easily be distracted with food. Like Snuffles. And Desertsong. Though...the latter wasn't so much known for her large appetite anymore.

Having momentarily depressed herself, Eve glanced over as white fur caught her attention. She raised her eyebrows. A Shiny Eevee? Well, she couldn't say she was surprised.

Which was about when Cyanide noticed them. Eve pasted a smile on as the Umbreon approached. "Hi! I'm Eve! I'm visiting with my trainer and some teammates because another teammate wanted to ask Keith about countering Poison-types. Jack brought me over because me and my girlfriend are planning to have kits some time in the near-ish future and I was wondering how you go about advising them on which way to evolve." She paused. "Or, at least, in what order they should go when your trainer plans to get all the Eeveelutions eventually."

---

"Yeah, some of the more famous ones have reached us at the Tower, though not much more than maybe their species and things that distinguish them specifically from others of their kind." Melissa leaned back a little and ticked names off on her fingers. "Hermione, obviously. The Qwilfish--Hebenon, I think his name is? Gemini and Mustard." The Weezing heads shared a finger. "Ginny. Stewie. Aster and Ariana. Meowth, of course." She thought for a moment and then shrugged, setting her hand down so she could lean back. "Pretty sure we've heard of some others, but I can't think of them off the top of my head now. But, anyway, Hermione joined you to help with your research, huh? What was Dynamaxing like for her?"

Mirage furrowed her brow and pawed at the ground before answering. "I'm just...there was a lot of new people at the Palace. And I don't...do so well with too many new people," she explained as best she could, voice quiet.

Wildfire cut in briefly, mostly directing his words at Remy. "She's really shy and this is...almost literally her first time out and about among strangers. And then she got overwhelmed by all the new people at the Palace," he said wryly, with Mirage nodding her head in rueful agreement. "Just...be patient with her? And try not to sneak up on her or she might bolt."

He turned back to the pair from earlier and nodded at Battery. "Makes sense. I'd do the same if we were open for visitors, though I'm sure one of my teammates would beat me to it." And then he blinked at Gigawatt, taken aback at the question that felt like it came from nowhere. "Uh, yeah, actually." He tilted his head thoughtfully. "We must've done a Gym Raid together if that's how you recognize her, since that's the only place Signal really...runs into other people."
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Old 10-20-2020, 11:39 PM   #554
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Sirius gave a small, exasperated sigh as Tempest explained the circumstances behind what Ginny did. "I can understand that line of thinking, but wow..." he chuckled. "But yes- you certainly picked the right person to ask," he added, tail wagging involuntarily as he glanced over to Keith. "Keith knows his Poison-types and knows them well. A highly skilled Trainer, and a good man." He nodded as Tempest added that he'd then invited the Ralts to stay for dinner. "Hardly the first time he's extended such an offer to someone, and I'm sure it won't be the last- as I'm sure you've picked up on by now, for the most part nobody here ever has any objections to unexpected dinner guests- oh, what is she doing now," he added, for if any of them would turn to look, they would see Ginny and the Ledian she was with approaching them, albeit with nowhere near the levels of aggression as before. "Ginny-" began Sirius warningly.

"I'm certain you'll have nothing to say that hasn't already been made inescapably clear to her," the Ledian interrupted smoothly. "Well?" he added to the Pawniard, who seemed to be looking determinedly at the floor.

Ginny gave a deep sigh. "...I'm sorry I accused you of trying to kill Keith," she mumbled. "I mean, you came in outta nowhere, and asked this guy I've defended from actual assassins on more than one occasion how to counter the type he specializes in, you can see how someone might find that a little suspicious..."

"But...?" the Ledian prompted gently.

"...but it's times like those I gotta remember I'm pretty friggin' far from the only one who cares about the guy and would be trying to protect him," Ginny sighed, with a nod to Sirius in particular, who nodded back.

"Well said, vile woman," the Ledian said, with a smirk and a tone of voice that made it clear that this was more of a term of endearment than a genuine insult. The Pawniard looked back at him, and the two exchanged a quick kiss, before the Ledian stepped forward. "I hope you're enjoying yourselves here thus far," he said. "I, er, am acutely aware that you've already met my beloved," he chuckled. "But speaking as one who is no stranger to getting off on the wrong foot, I do hope you'll accept her apology. Her intuition and paranoia have saved us more than once, but more often than not it results in bad first impressions, as well as a certain reputation among door-to-door salespeople. She, however, has been trying to work on that. It's an ongoing process. But enough on that, I haven't even introduced myself yet- my name is Stewie," he said.

~~~~~

"Not so much mixing gossip, more like going off outdated info," Bart stated in response. Pangoro simply looked confused. "Before your time, dude," Bart added, noticing the Daunting Pokémon's look.

"When Millicent joined the team, her log was inhabited by Willow, the ghost of a deceased Leavanny," explained Salazar. "She and Millicent see each other as sisters. For many years, that was how we knew Willow- as this entity inhabiting Millicent's log that rarely ever actually spoke to anyone other than the Timburr herself, to the point where some of us initially didn't believe there was actually anyone in there."

"Then things changed after the whole thing with Stewie went down," Bart said. "Ain't seen it for myself, but apparently someone's Shiftry died in that fight, and here's the weird part- the Shiftry's body turned up at the Adoption Center, like, without a soul in it or something."

"Willow caught wind of this and saw it as an opportunity," continued Salazar. "As it turns out, whenever Millicent used an attack that required using her log to hit someone or block something, the resultant impact would be mildly uncomfortable to Willow. Not to the point where it would seriously hurt her, but-"

"-but to the point where I wasn't about to just ignore an opportunity to be a proper Pokémon again," came a gentle voice. A Shiftry came walking up to them, a Timburr beside her. While the Timburr looked pretty normal, albeit wearing a smooth stone on a piece of string around her neck, the Shiftry looked different than normal- the leaves and eyes were closer in coloration to what one would see on a Leavanny, and the wooden body was a perfect match for the log the Timburr was carrying.

"Yo, Willow, Millicent," Pangoro greeted them. "We were just talking about you. This here's Vine and Zephyr, they're visiting."

"Heya," Millicent grinned.

"A pleasure," Willow added, bowing politely.

~~~~~

Cyanide nodded at Eve's greeting and explanation of why she was there, and listened intently as the Eevee asked for advice, though she scoffed at that last part. "When your Trainer plans?" repeated the Umbreon. "Girl, lemme tell you something about our kind- ain't nobody got the right to call the shots on which way we evolve but us. Honestly, best thing you can do when you got your own little ones is help them figure out which way fits them best. Lemme introduce you to mine, in fact," she added. "Kids!" she called to the Flareon and Shiny Eevee, who came racing over, eyeing Eve curiously, the latter of the two sparkling as she approached. "This here's Eve," said Cyanide. "Eve, my daughter Eon, and my son Leo," she added, glancing lovingly at the Shiny Eevee and the Flareon respectively as she introduced them.

"Hiya, miss Eve!" smiled Eon. "Nice to meet ya!"

"Yeah!" grinned Leo.

"So, miss Eve's looking for advice on what to tell her kits when she's a mother someday," said Cyanide. "About evolution, y'know?"

"Ohhh," nodded Eon. "Well, me, I don't wanna evolve, ever!" she said with a proud grin. "My dad's this really strong and awesome Ambipom, and I always wanted to be a cool Normal-type like him! I wanna be better than any Eeveelution, better than all o' them put together!" she declared.

"Yeah, you keep telling yourself that," Leo teased his sister. "I always knew I wanted to be a Flareon," he told Eve. "I always thought seeing Fire attacks being used was always the most awesome thing ever, I love spicy food, I hate getting wet- only reason I didn't become one sooner was that Mom always made sure I couldn't get to Keith's Fire Stone," he pouted.

"Yeah, and that's because you don't rush into evolution, even if you think your mind's made up from day one," Cyanide retorted. "I was thinking Flareon, myself, when I was younger," she explained to Eve. "Then, one night, I was hanging out with my man, and I saw him, illuminated in the moonlight, and I dunno, something just kinda clicked. Next thing I know, boom- Umbreon," she smirked. "Total spur-of-the-moment deal, wasn't planned at all, ain't never regretted it once. But honestly, in hindsight, making Leo hold off on it, probably not necessary," she chuckled. "My boy's basically been a Fire-type in a Normal-type's body since the day he hatched, but even still, like I say, no sense rushing our evolutions. That said, when you know, you know. Y'know?"

Eon tilted her head. "Miss Eve, are you gonna evolve?" she asked the visiting Eevee.

~~~~~

Eddie nodded. "I've heard more than a little about Keith and his team myself before meeting him," he stated. "His experiences have ensured he was far from unknown within the cryptopokology community, though he also seems to be pretty well-known in the Fizzytopia region just in general." The subject then turned to Hermione's experiences with Dynamaxing, and how it was for her. "Oh, she had a lot to say on it, and it was fascinating," he said earnestly, digging a notebook out of her bag, with a crude sketch of the Gigantamax factor symbol on the cover, flipping through it a little bit. "Yes... she described the sensation as though she herself hadn't actually changed size, but rather was psychically piloting a gigantic Weedle and seeing through its eyes. This tracks with what I've heard, that Dynamaxing doesn't actually increase the Pokémon's size, but rather gives off a projection of energy to cultivate such an impression, merely altering their perceived appearance. And that is exactly what's gotten the attention of the cryptopokology community," he added, his glasses flashing with excitement. "Some of the Pokémon we study, most famously Missingno., have the capability to alter the perceived appearance of Pokémon around them, though in their case, simply scrambling their appearance, rather than making them look larger. It's my theory that Dynamax Energy is a more refined form of the power such Pokémon give off- what exactly refines that power, that's still beyond me, however." He paused to catch his breath, for he'd gotten rather caught up in what he was saying. "I hope I'm not boring you with all this?" he added sheepishly. "I tend to get a little carried away when you get me on these kinds of subjects."

Remy nodded slowly as it was explained that Mirage didn't do so well around new people, particularly in large numbers. "I see," the Drowzee said. "Yes, then dinner in the Poisonous Palace would definitely do it- Keith alone has to have close to a hundred Pokémon by now. Most of them are very nice, but even still, if the numbers alone are what does it..." He nodded as Wildfire requested he be patient with the Galarian Ponyta. "Of course," he promised. "I... had sort of the opposite problem," he admitted. "With me, I desperately wanted to make new friends. I was in the Adoption Center for the longest time. It got to the point where I started trying to... to hypnotize Trainers into thinking they wanted to adopt me," he admitted ashamedly. "I didn't see what was wrong with that at the time, but eventually I realized that was doing more harm than good. Eddie- I had tried to hypnotize him, but his glasses block the hypnotic waves. And yet, he realized I was just lonely, and chose to adopt me anyway," he smiled.

"THEN IT WAS HER I SAW, AT THE HYDREIGON RAID," droned Gigawatt. "I REMEMBER IT WELL- I HAD EVOLVED FROM VOLTORB IN PREPARATION FOR THE BATTLE, AND BEING NATURALLY SOUNDPROOF, THE SNARL ATTACKS HYDREIGON USED HAD NO EFFECT ON ME. I DISTINCTLY RECALL SEEING A CHINCHOU THERE, COMMANDED BY A TRAINER WHO LOOKED VERY MUCH LIKE YOURS. NO DOUBT EDDIE WOULD NOT RECOGNIZE HER- HE TENDS TO FOCUS MORE ON THE OPPONENT AT HAND."

"Gigawatt's got a good memory," piped up Battery.
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:42 AM   #555
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Cirrus and Prince exchanged glances as they watched and listened to the interplay between Sirius, Ginny, and Stewie with the latter prompting his...girlfriend? to apologize. It was...definitely interesting, especially when most of what they'd heard about Stewie was from before the Ledian had been purified.

Without her teammates' context and being polite enough not to get distracted by their silent conversation, Tempest accepted the apology. "Your concerns were understandable, given your trainer's prior experiences, and I'm sure Keith and your teammates appreciate your prudence." She huffed an amused breath. "Even if others might not. Though...I'm sure some of your teammates would like a chance at any hidden enemies, instead of keeping all the fun to yourself."

She then bobbed her head at Stewie because she was realizing that she was going to be doing a lot of bowing if she ended up introduced to every single one of Keith and his family's Pokémon. "Well met, Stewie. My name is Tempest and these are my teammates, Prince and Cirrus."

"Hullo." Prince nodded.

"Hi," Cirrus chirped.

Both of them were letting the Ralts take point in the interactions, so as not to mess up anything for her, but neither of them went back to their food. Most of what they knew of these two were by their respective reputations alone, so the two were giving them their polite, if subtly wary, attention.

---

Vine tilted his head as Bart and Salazar relayed the story, some of the details sounding familiar to him. And Zephyr too, if her glances over at him meant anything. They might've heard about the Shiftry in the AC at some point, but he couldn't be sure; it wasn't like they followed Keith's antics religiously or anything.

Both of them peered over the edge of the roof as the very subjects of their current conversation joined them, Pangoro calling them by name and introducing the pair on the roof.

"Hullo!" Zephyr chirped cheerfully, while Vine gave a lazy wave. "Do you two usually walk around at this time of--" She glanced up at the sky. "--evening?"

Vine rolled his eyes. "Your choice of words could use some work."

"I don't see you doing any better," she shot back, grinning at him.

"You're the people person; not me," he pointed out. "Would've figured you'd be able to not sound suspicious of a couple of Pokémon walking around on their own trainer's property, but what do I know?" He shrugged, fighting a smirk.

"Asshole," she chirped, rolling her eyes at him.

---

Eve laughed as Cyanide got offended on her and her hypothetical kits' behalf. "I probably should've said 'hope' instead, to be honest, because she really does hope to pick up a full set, but she's not gonna force anyone to evolve anyway but the way they want."

"Nice to meet the two of you, too," she said to the pair of not-quite-kits that tumbled over at their mother's call. Eve listened attentively as the pair told her how they figured out what they wanted to be and nodded thoughtfully along to their individual recitations. Honestly, it sounded a little like Mel's one-on-ones, though she couldn't say how anyone else's had gone; most of them were treating the one-on-ones as confidential, even though Mel'd never said they were, but they were a bit personal.

She turned her attention to Cyanide as the Umbreon explained how she evolved and nodded gamely at the likely-rhetorical question she ended her story with. And then little Eon asked if she was gonna evolve.

She shook her head with a smile. "I'm not planning to, no. Which means my trainer can and probably will drop a lot of money on teaching me the special Eevee moves." She rolled her eyes. "Eventually. But, if I did, I'd probably pick Flareon, like your brother, to match my girlfriend better."

---

Melissa listened attentively as Eddie went on a theorizing ramble about Dynamaxing, which, while she wasn't personally interested enough to research herself, did give her some perspective on why Signal and Ore found the whole experience...odd. Ore probably hated the lack of finesse and stealth that would accompany the whole remotely-controlling-a-tangentially-associated-construction with his mind, since he was a very...physically-grounded Pokémon. Somewhat surprising, considering his typing, but understandable. Signal would just hate the associated clumsiness and the way he'd be broadcasting his emotional state even more than he already was. To those who could decipher his flashing, at least.

But then Eddie looped that back around to how Dynamaxing could be linked to how some cryptids could hide their appearance, which was definitely an intriguing idea.

Melissa shook her head when Eddie checked in with her. "No, I don't mind. It's definitely an interesting subject, even if I'm not exactly well informed on the subject." She then offered a thought she had while he was talking. "Is there any reason it couldn't be some variation on the Illusion ability the Zorua line have, interacting in some way with the refined Dynamax Energy that causes the scrambling effect?"


Mirage frowned as Remy relayed his own method to try to cure his loneliness, a back hoof tapping the ground. Wildfire shot her a look that said to be nice to the Drowzee since he was being considerate of her difficulties and she pulled her ears back, but relented as best she could. "Well, at least it's better now, right? Since joining Eddie brought you here where you have so many more options?"

Wildfire rolled his eyes and made a note to check in on that conversation every once in a while. While Tempest and Mirage were the babies of the team, both had very firm ideas on how they would ride into battle, what their roles would be in relation to each other, and how people were supposed to treat each other. Though, Tempest had a lot more experience pretending not be bothered by other people's actions at the moment.

Turning back to the Electric-types, Wildfire nodded along as Gigawatt relayed what he remembered, matching the desciptions to one of the earliest raids they'd participated in. "Much better than mine," Wildfire agreed with Battery before turning to Gigawatt. "I'll be honest; we don't really notice the specific others in the raids we participate in unless something in particular happens during it, like with the Wigglytuff one, but Signal was definitely there for that one. So, yeah, that was us." He thought back to the raid. "You had a really good showing for that one; was it the first one you participated in?"
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Old 10-21-2020, 07:08 PM   #556
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Ginny nodded. "They do," she agreed as Tempest remarked that Keith and the others surely appreciated what she did. Then the Ralts added how others might not. "Eheheh... yeah," the Pawniard chuckled sheepishly.

Stewie nodded at the notion that Ginny's teammates would surely like to take a shot at any enemies, rather than the Pawniard taking them on herself. "I know you know that," grinned the Ledian. He nodded politely at the introductions. "A pleasure to meet you all," the Ledian responded. "When you've finished eating, if you'd like, I could show you around the house?"

At that point, however, Chip floated into the kitchen from the ceiling. "Cookies?" he asked hopefully to nobody in particular.

Liliana chuckled, floating up to meet the chocolate chip Duskull. "Later, Chip," she said patiently. "Cookies are dessert, right now we're having dinner."

"OK, Mom," said Chip. Then, his eye found Tempest, Prince, and Cirrus. "Oh! Company! Guests! NEW FRIENDS!" he exclaimed, diving down to where they were. "Who you?" he asked them. As he drew close, they would undoubtedly notice the distinct aroma of chocolate chip cookies.

"Chip, son, this is Tempest, Prince, and Cirrus, they're visiting us," Liliana said, having followed the young Duskull back over to them.

"Ohhh," nodded the Duskull. "My name Chip. Nice meet you," he said.

~~~~~

Millicent chuckled as Zephyr and Vine had a minor argument about how the former had worded her question. "Ah, relax, no offense taken," the Timburr grinned. "I was helping Willow out in the forest just south of here," she explained, pointing behind them.

"There's a colony of Sewaddle somewhere in there," explained Willow. "Some of the Leavanny who were in charge had unfortunately passed away. There are a few Leavanny left, but looking after so many Sewaddle has been taxing on them. So I come by occasionally and do what I can to help. Millicent wanted to come with me this time and help out as well, and I welcomed it," smiled the Shiftry.

"Willow's awesome," grinned Millicent. "She can still sew leaf clothes as well as any of those Leavanny."

"Ah, you flatter me," Willow chuckled modestly. "I'm certain my skills have grown rusty over the years, though... admittedly those Sewaddle were certainly happy with what I made them," she admitted with a smile.

~~~~~

Cyanide gave an approving nod as Eve clarified things. "That's good," she said. "Yeah, nothing wrong with a Trainer wanting certain Pokémon, long as they respect what their Pokémon wanna do."

Eve then answered Eon's question by confirming she wasn't planning to evolve, and the Shiny Eevee grinned widely as Eve made mention of the special Eevee moves. "Ooh, yeah, your Trainer really should, those moves are awesome, and only Eevee can have them, ever! Nyah!" she added, sticking her tongue out at Leo. "I know a Fire move you'll never get!"

"Yeah, but you can't hit me with it!" Leo taunted back. "I could toast you like a marshmallow if I wanted!"

"Oh, yeah!?"

"Yeah!"

"OH YEAH?!"

"YEAH!"

"OK, you two, that's enough," Cyanide said, sounding as though she was attempting to hold back an amused chuckle. "What have I told you two about starting battles with each other?"

"Only on a battlefield so our attacks don't hit anyone else?" said Eon.

"And don't seriously hurt each other?" added Leo.

"Bingo," smiled Cyanide. Needing no further prompting, Leo and Eon raced up onto the elevated platform, and started right away. Leo let loose a Flamethrower, which Eon blocked with a timely Water Pulse. Leo then let loose a Yawn, which got Eon yawning as well. However, she reared up, sparks flying from her front paws, and slammed said front paws into the battlefield, creating a ripple of energy that covered the entire battlefield in a crackling Electric Terrain that seemed to wake up the Shiny Eevee. Smirking at her older brother, Eon then seemed to vanish on the spot, allowing her surroundings to Camouflage her.

"Heh," grinned Cyanide, watching this. "This is nothing new," she said to Eve. "Those two can get a little competitive from time to time, and when that happens, a good practice battle's just the thing. They don't hurt each other, good use of all that extra energy, and it's good training, too. Besides which, always makes me proud to see the kinds of strategies they come up with."

~~~~~

Eddie nodded and smiled as Melissa reassured him that she didn't mind this topic of conversation, and even suggested the notion that it could have some relation to the Illusion Ability that Zorua and Zoroark had. "It's a possibility," nodded Eddie. "Though, one of the benefits to Dynamaxing is that the Pokémon takes attacks better while in a Dynamaxed state, whereas the slightest of attacks breaks an Illusion... Though it might still warrant looking into," he added thoughtfully. "I've definitely not thought of that possibility before."

Remy nodded with a smile. "Much better now," he confirmed. "Eddie's very nice, I have good teammates I'm happy to have met, and Eddie's friends and neighbors have a lot of Pokémon I hang out with as well," he said. "It's what I've always wanted," smiled the Drowzee. "All those months in the Adoption Center, looking out the window, seeing all the Trainers and their Pokémon together... I always wanted something like that."

Wildfire, meanwhile, admitted that they rarely noticed what else was going on in a raid unless it was something big, like with the Wigglytuff raid. "Oh, yeah, I heard about that!" Battery piped up. "Isn't that where Keith was using Marvolo and there was the Shadow Zangoose?"

"THE CIRCUMSTANCES AS I UNDERSTAND THEM ARE SIGNIFICANTLY LESS SIMPLE THAN THAT, BUT CORRECT IN ESSENTIALS," droned Gigawatt. And as the Cyndaquil remarked that the Electrode had done well in the Hydreigon raid, the Electric-type smiled. "THANK YOU," it replied. "INDEED, THAT WAS MY FIRST TIME PARTICIPATING IN A RAID. IT WAS NOT THE FIRST TIME FOR MY TRAINER, HOWEVER, WHO BROUGHT HERMIONE TO TAKE ON A GIGANTAMAXED APPLETUN SOME MONTHS BEFORE THIS. BACK THEN, HE WAS SIGNIFICANTLY LACKING IN SELF-CONFIDENCE AS A TRAINER. IT IS MY BELIEF THESE RAIDS WERE OF GREAT HELP IN THIS REGARD," it said, with a glance over at Eddie.
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Old 10-22-2020, 02:51 AM   #557
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"Yes, please," Tempest said to Stewie, before turning back to her food to finish it as fast as possible.

Cirrus and Prince exchanged a look and then Cirrus nodded at Stewie. "I'd like to see more of the place, too."

Prince shook his head. "I wanted to ask Sirius about something, so I'll stay down here." He shot a grin at Cirrus. "Keep an eye out for anything you might wanna copy to our place."

"I don't think anything here would fit, but sure," Cirrus said dryly, plucking another leaf out of his salad to nibble on.

The trio peered up at a Duskull wearing a chocolate-chip-patterned cloak that drifted down from the ceiling, Liliana floating over to meet them. From the brief exchange, it sounded like that was her kid, so Cirrus and Prince went back to eating. At least, until the young Duskull dove straight for them.

"Hello, Chip. It's nice to meet you," Tempest said first, with Prince and Cirrus echoing her shortly after. She ate another bite of her salad and then turned to Liliana. "You, Peeves, and Chip all speak English. Did you teach yourselves how to speak it or did it carry-over when you became Ghosts?" Tempest caught herself, realizing how that question could come across. "Ah, if it's something you don't mind explaining of course."

Cirrus tilted his head to peer at Chip. "Cookies?"

---

"I'm sure they appreciated whatever you help you could offer, even if it might not be up to your own standards," Zephyr offered reassuringly, though she was pretty sure the now-Shiftry didn't need it.

"Sewaddle and Leavanny, huh?" Vine tapped his chin before peering over the edge of the roof. "Are there a lot of wild Pokémon colonies around here? I mean, I'm assuming the Sewaddle and Leavanny are, but are there others? And do they let you guys just go visit or are these ones a special case?"

---

"They seem to be that age," she commented, watching the two go at each other. "Unfortunately, I've never actually had a chance to participate in a battle, believe it or not; we didn't have the space before and then things started coming up." Eve sighed wistfully, tail flicking, before a thought struck her and she perked up. "Oh, hey, you know what? I should drag Growlithe out of the Tower and bring her here. Get her to go do something instead of...I think she's moping still over her, well..."

Eve watched the kits battle for a bit, expression twisting. She then ducked her head to look sidelong at Cyanide. "...she basically lost her kids to the machinations of a teammate and those of us aware of it are...concerned about her. Concerned about the teammate arranging things behind Mel's back too, but consensus seems to be wait and see if she'll get any worse before we deal with it. Growlithe, on the other hand..." She shrugged. "I think if we didn't keep trying to keep her going, she might just hide away forever, if she could get away with it."

After a moment of silence, Eve shook off the heavier atmosphere. "Sorry about that. And when you've got your kits right there trying to beat each other up, too." She shot Cyanide a sheepish grin. "So, do the three of you have to head for dinner soon or are we waiting for something in particular?"

---

"Something new to look into, then." Melissa grinned over at Eddie. "What else are you looking into? Besides the Dynamax phenomenon and the cryptid Pokémon?"

Mirage nodded her understanding, even if she didn't really know what that was like. "Only one of my teammates came from the Adoption Center also and he's always been a little...insecure? of his position on the team. But several joined us when their previous trainers offered them up for trade and some of them are also a bit insecure." She tilted her head thoughtfully. "I guess I was lucky; Mel went into the Springtide Isles looking for me this latest time, so I haven't really felt like I'm missing anything." She nodded at Remy and smiled shyly at him. "I'm glad things worked out for you, though."

Wildfire nodded at Battery. "Yeah! It was kind of nuts, actually. Did you know Keith's Seviper actually went after Alex's Shadow Zangoose right at the start of the raid? When the Wigglytuff was still mostly ready to fight?" He shook his head in amazement, recalling the sequence of events. "And then Alex hit him! Honestly, I'm still a bit surprised that the Wigglytuff didn't flatten all of us, but that's not even the most mind-blowing part. When Alex's Zangoose recovered, they ended up fighting side by side with Marvolo and the both of them didn't fight each other at all!" He scratched at the back of his head. "No idea how that ended up happening--we were too far away to hear their conversation and, well, me and Mel aren't the eavesdroppers of the team--but something must've for them to work together."

He then listened to Gigawatt, tilting his head to consider the Electrode's hypothesis. "Sounds about right. I mean, participating in raids as a fighter is just as much practice as participating as a trainer, right? And the more you win, the better you feel about tackling another because experience." He huffed a laugh. "Even if it's not tracked as clearly with humans as it is for Pokémon."
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Old 10-26-2020, 12:33 AM   #558
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Liliana chuckled as Tempest hastily followed up her question, realizing how it might come across. "No offense taken," she said. "It's actually something we all learned- neither Peeves nor I were even human when we were alive. I was an Umbreon, he was a Machop. Chip... We're not sure he was actually dead," she added, with a glance at the young Duskull. "But yes- us Ghost-types typically have an easier time than most other types at learning human language, though if Vinny's taught us anything, it's that conceivably any kind of Pokémon could learn human language with enough hard work and determination. It's not just us, either- Keith's Gengar, both of his Banette, they all can speak human language as well. Well, in one of the Banette's case, she actually was human in her previous life, so there was that as well," she added. "That does, in my experience, seem to help. The same goes for Maribel's Trevenant, actually- he, too, was human in life, though that can be said of all Phantump and Trevenant, I believe."

Chip's eye lit up at Cirrus's utterance. "Cookies!? Where!?" he said excitedly, looking around, before realizing what the Swablu likely meant. "...oh, you talking about how I smell!" he chuckled. "Ohh. OK. I always smell this way. Mom and Dad say it ever since I hatch. I not know why. But," he added, shrugging his cloaked shoulders, "I not look gift Pontya in mouth! Cookies so delicious, why I not want smell like them??"

Sirius grinned as he heard Prince stating his intention to ask the Mightyena something, and so stayed in the dining room even as more Pokémon rotated in and out. A Decidueye was sharing a steak with a brown and dark green Roselia whose roses sported a deep crimson hue; a Charizard was showing an eager-looking Salandit how to further blacken the already well-done steak with a simple Ember attack; and a Probopass was holding the steak up to its mouth by way of his Mini-Noses. Or, rather, where one would assume a mouth to be hidden by that mustache, and evidently there was one there, as he did seem to be consuming the steak somehow.

~~~~~

"Oh, they did," smiled Willow. "Honestly, it just felt good to be helping out the young ones again, like I used to do..."

As Willow was starting to reminisce, Millicent fielded Vine's question. "There's some, yeah," the Timburr said. "Bunch of Farfetch'd in there... Aragog's mentioned meeting and hunting with other wild Ariados... Didn't Maribel's Bagon live near here or something?"

"Nah, apparently he just stumbled upon this place at the right time," said Bart.

"Ah, OK," nodded Millicent.

~~~~~

Cyanide looked mildly surprised. "Never battled?" she repeated. "Well, hell, never too late to give it a shot." Then, however, Eve had an idea, and mentioned a Growlithe, suggesting bringing her along so she could do basically anything other than moping. As it turned out, this Growlithe's kids had been lost due to the actions of a teammate, and she hadn't been taking it well. And this revelation was reacting with a combination of Cyanide's naturally vicious tendencies and her violently protective motherly instincts. She might not know the Growlithe, but knowing how she'd feel if she were to ever lose Eon and Leo, Cyanide was already beyond furious on the unknown Fire-type's behalf.

But, before she could start about this, Eve changed the subject to that of dinner. "...soon, yeah," Cyanide replied. "Usually the three of us take kind of a late spot in the rotation since it tends to take 'em about that long to tire out and be ready to eat," she chuckled. "We'll head on down once their battle's done, I think, and you can come with if you like. So... this teammate of yours," she added in a quieter voice. "What the hell did they do to that Growlithe's kids?"

Leo, frustrated that he couldn't see where his sister had gone, had resorted to firing off Mystical Fires at random, but none of them were hitting anyone. And then, a Terrain Pulse came from right behind him in the form of a powerful Electric attack! The Flareon stumbled forward as Eon, giggling, became visible once more. The Flareon then charged in for a Double-Edge, while Eon reared up yet again, and slammed her front paws into the floor. This time, instead of impacting the terrain, it caused a row of sharp stones to erupt out of the Electric Terrain. Leo attempted to charge right through the Stone Edge, but was knocked back before long.

~~~~~

"Nothing in particular beyond that at the moment," Eddie shook his head, though he grinned back at the same time. "Cryptopokology is my main field of study, but most any unsolved mystery of the Pokémon world would interest me enough to look into it. When I was younger, actually, I wound up inadvertently proving that Voltorb really are born from Poké Balls exposed to a tremendous electric charge," he added, glancing over at his Electrode. "I don't remember what I was actually trying to prove with that experiment, all I know is that I wasn't expecting to suddenly have a Voltorb. Not that I minded this outcome," he added. "Gigawatt is quite tame compared to how its kind is generally known to be, we got along well from the start, and it ended up coming with me as my first Pokémon when I left home." He looked back over at Melissa. "So, what's your story, Melissa?" he asked.

Remy smiled back. "Thank you," he said to Mirage. "I think we're both lucky- I ended up with a Trainer who's happy to have me and work with me, and your Trainer was actively looking for you. I... Eddie's team is small, but nice. But his friends have a lot more Pokémon that I get to spend time with as well. I... I can imagine how it'd be overwhelming if you're shy around new faces, though all the ones I've met here really are nice."

Wildfire, meanwhile, was telling Battery all about what had happened, with Marvolo attacking the Shadow Zangoose. "I did hear about that!" Battery nodded. "Hermione told us the story, she'd heard it from Marvolo himself- that's the Seviper's name."

"Correct," nodded Hermione. "Well, a Seviper instinctively going after a Zangoose, that's to be expected," she added. "Keith, as I understand it, was considering pulling out of the raid as soon as he'd seen what Alex had brought, but reconsidered. Of course, this led to Marvolo needing but the flimsiest of excuses to attack the Zangoose instead, but between Alex hitting him, and Keith giving him a firm talking-to, Marvolo agreed to be civil for the rest of the raid. But it doesn't end there," she added. "As for why they were working together? They found they had more common ground than anyone could have ever guessed. I gather you're familiar with Ninetales's power to lay curses on those who grab their tails, yes? Well, some years ago, a group of Pokémon was trying to reclaim their territory from a pack of intruders led by a Ninetales. A Seviper among the natives was battling the Ninetales, but was tricked into biting one of its tails clean off." She paused there to allow that statement to sink in. "She was condemned to a personal hell the likes of which I wouldn't wish on any Seviper- she was turned into the likeness of a Shadow Zangoose, into the form of her own archenemy, and in a form in which even actual Zangoose wouldn't trust her. When this story was related to Marvolo, he found that he believed her, and thus was born an unlikely friendship. Marvolo had subsequently related this story to Keith, as he can understand Seviper language fluently, who was then able to convey it to Alex so that he could understand his own Pokémon's situation better. Me, I've been trying to help by looking into ways to break a Ninetales's curse, but so far I've come up empty," she sighed. "I even asked Sunny and Ava- a pair of Ninetales owned by Terri," she added, gesturing in the direction of the house Vine and Zephyr were perched atop, "but even they don't know, as they're both still very young for their kind."

"I WAS LIKEWISE MADE AWARE OF THESE EVENTS," droned Gigawatt. It nodded as Wildfire talked about how participating in raids was good practice for both Trainer and Pokémon. "INDEED," the Electrode agreed. "EDDIE'S CONFIDENCE HAS GREATLY IMPROVED OVER THIS PAST YEAR. HE HAS EVEN BEEN TAKING PART IN COLOSSEUM CHALLENGES AT SLUDGE WAVE COLOSSEUM," it added, glancing over at the large dome-shaped building in the southern part of the clearing. "HIS FIRST TIME, HE DIDN"T EVEN MAKE IT PAST THE FIRST ROUND, BUT HE DID NOT LET THIS STOP HIM. IN THE LATEST ONE HE TOOK PART IN, HE MADE IT ALL THE WAY TO THE FINALS, ALTHOUGH HE DID NOT ACTUALLY WIN." It paused. "THERE IS, AS I UNDERSTAND IT, A COLOSSEUM CHALLENGE SCHEDULED IN A LITTLE WHILE," it added. "I BELIEVE EDDIE INTENDS TO ENTER. DO YOU THINK A DOUBLE BATTLE TOURNAMENT MIGHT INTEREST YOUR TRAINER AS WELL?" it asked of Wildfire.
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Old 10-27-2020, 03:22 AM   #559
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Tempest nodded thoughtfully along as Liliana explained how she and her family learned human-English, finishing up the last bits of salad on her plate. She tilted her head and paused when Liliana mentioned Maribel's Trevenant speaking human-English as well. "Huh. That's interesting actually because Coulter, Mel's Phantump, doesn't. Speak English, I mean." Tempest shrugged. "Though it's possible that he just...hasn't figured out how yet. I haven't talked to him much personally, so I wouldn't know. Excuse me a moment." She tidied her plate up and then took Cirrus' plate, piling it on top of her own. She slid off her chair and grabbed Prince's finished plate, taking the entire pile over to Keith's side of the table. "Um, should I put these in the sink with water or...?"

Cirrus tilted his head to consider the young Duskull, nodding absently at his teammate as she grabbed his plate for him. "You were born like that? Huh. Alright then." He shuffled his wings. "You never get tired of smelling like cookies? Or ever miss the smell of other cookies because you smell like cookies?" He tilted his head to the other side. "Wait, you don't get used to the smell after a while?"

Prince reluctantly let Tempest take the plate from him and then glanced around to check out this next group of Pokémon. "That's, what, three groups already that've rotated through? Man, how do you handle having that many people around? Or are you cool with them all since they're all teammates or family members?" he asked Sirius idly, not quite wanting to get into his actual question just yet. Maybe he'd ask for a word somewhere...quieter, since it'd be embarrassing if the Masters' canids didn't all basically run in the same pack.

---

"Huh, well, alright." Vine shrugged and then eyed the distance to the ground.

"So, what do you guys do for fun around here when you're not entertaining guests?" Zephyr prompted, hopping up to the edge of the roof. "Dunno 'bout you guys, but we're about ready to move on to something...more active."

---

Eve considered the offer and nodded. "True. Always an option if we're here for that long." She laughed. "Which is looking very likely, yeah."

Cyanide then explained that her family usually went during one of the later rotations since her kits were so energetic that it took them about that long to wear themselves out. "That's fair." She nodded towards the battling kits. "And they're giving each other a good workout for sure."

Eve's ears flattened against her head as Cyanide brought the conversation back to Growlithe and Annabelle, watching Leo struggle against his sister for a few moments. "We...aren't actually all that sure." Her expression twisted and she corrected herself, "Well, we know they went to other trainers, but who they are and where they are now..." She shrugged. "Prince, another teammate, says he might've caught the scent of her firstborn when he went to take his firstborn to his supposedly 'destined' trainer, but he couldn't be sure." She dipped her head to the side. "So, not dead-lost, but still lost enough that Growlithe bitterly regrets letting Annabelle talk her into the whole thing." She huffed a sad laugh and tilted her head back to look at the ceiling. "We'd go ahead and steal them back for her, but, well." She shrugged again, helplessly.

---

"Damn, that must've been surprising, but, hey, at least it worked out for the both of you." Melissa grinned, before tilting her head to the side as Eddie asked about her. "Me? Uh, mine's pretty average, I'd say. Mom and dad were trainers, so I grew up on the whole Pokémon trainer thing. Trailed along as mom went from Kanjohto to Hoenn, to Sinnoh, and then back to Kanjohto before we split up. They went to Unova and I came here." She shrugged. "Last time we talked, it sounded like dad finally managed to get mom to chill out and they're looking for somewhere to retire."

Mirage nodded. "They do seem like it, even though I...only met some of them for a moment. They were very nice about giving me space and letting Tempest handle things until Mel could come rescue me."

"Huh," Wildfire said as Hermione relayed the entire tale, cringing when she spoke about how the former-Seviper was tricked into ripping a Ninetales' tail out. As she wrapped up her explanation, he nodded slowly. "That's...definitely something. Good that at least the entire situation was cleared up...but something for sure." He hummed thoughtfully and then shook his head. "I'd offer to ask Hex for you, see if my Vulpix teammate could pass along anything, but she's only planning to evolve if her girlfriend is and that's looking very unlikely." He shrugged with a grimace.

Gigawatt then explained that Eddie had been gaining confidence by going to raids and taking on Colosseum challenges at the, Wildfire assumed it was a Colosseum. The Electrode then asked if Mel would be interested in participating in a double battle tournament and Wildfire tilted his head. "She's not actually much of a fan of battling, but lemme ask. I don't think we've ever done a double battle before."

That said, he trotted over to Melissa's side and tapped at her upper arm. "Mel, wanna try a double battle tournament at the Colosseum? Apparently, one's supposed to start soon-ish and Gigawatt's wondering if we'd like to partner up with Eddie and try it out?"

Melissa glanced down at her starter. "A double battle tournament at the Colosseum?" she repeated, following Wildfire's gaze to the dome-shaped building not far away. She frowned at the building, a little confused. "Isn't that an Orre thing?" She then shook her head and turned back to Eddie. "What d'you think, Eddie? Willing to take on the double battle tournament with a, well, relative unknown?" She huffed a laugh. "I've never done a double battle with two trainers before and I...only have who I brought with me, so, 's long as I can borrow some Pokémon or...find some other way to grab enough to meet whatever requirements it has, then I'll be willing to try if you are."
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Old 10-28-2020, 12:57 PM   #560
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"Interesting," Liliana murmured as Tempest explained about Melissa's Phantump not speaking English. "It's entirely possible Coulter might simply not have thought it to be possible in this form," she agreed. "I do know of a Froslass who didn't think to try speaking human language for a while, despite being human herself when she was alive. And when she did try, she found it far easier than she had feared. Either way, of course, I'd say it's more about whether Coulter actually wants to try. It might be worth attempting to speak to him about this at some point. Willa once caught a Phantump who was speaking English right away- in fact, when she and Keith met him, he hadn't yet realized he was dead," Willa said sadly. "Speaking of which, Maribel, where is Trevenant?" the female Dusknoir added.

"I left him at the Pokémon Center after that training we did earlier," Maribel replied. "I promised I'd save him some dinner, though if he's healed up, I think Aunt Helena would bring him with her when she gets a Nurse Joy to cover for her."

"It certainly sounds like something she'd do," nodded Liliana as Tempest went to take her and her teammates' plates, asking Keith and Willa what to do with them.

"I'll take those," Willa offered, as she made to stand up.

"Nah, I got this," Keith stated, standing up himself and accepting the dishes from Tempest. "I'll handle the dishes tonight, dear," he smiled at Willa, who smiled back appreciatively as she watched her man walk onto a warp panel. "Heh," chuckled Willa. "After the time distortion, I had to reassure mother all over again that yes, he does in fact voluntarily do the dishes from time to time."

Chip pondered Cirrus's questions. "I... never really get tired of smell," he shrugged. "It weird. I used to smelling like cookies, but I still notice it, too. And thing is, I can tell difference between own cookie smell and smell of actual cookies!" he added happily. "Means I never miss out on tasty cookies. Mom and Dad always say shared love for cookies how they met in first place. Mom think that why I like this. I trust her on this- Mom very smart," Chip said with an admiring glance at the nearby Dusknoir.

Sirius gave a laugh. "More than three," he replied. "There's a fair few you didn't get to see. And far from the last. I'm cool with them all- I was one of the earliest of Keith's Pokémon- his first to not be a Poison-type, in fact," he added. "It was a pretty small group to start with, and as more and more came in, I got to meet each of them, get to know them. I suppose if they all came in at once I'd be a lot more overwhelmed, but no- I got to know 'em gradually, and they're all like family to me. Even when Willa first moved in, she only had her Yanmega and Eelektross at the time. And over the years, it's fallen to myself and some of the others of the original crew to help Keith handle and care for some of the newer faces. The other Mightyena that was in here earlier, Noxie- I've become something of a mentor to her. The same goes for Keith's Houndoom as well- I still remember when Keith first hatched her. We all might have our own groups of friends within here, but when all is said and done, we're all family," the Mightyena stated.

More Pokémon rotated. Maribel's Bagon and Hippopotas were done eating and voluntarily returned to their Poké Balls, and as various other Pokémon left, their places were taken by a Mawile, a Dodrio, a Seismitoad, a rather loud and slightly obnoxious Amped Form Toxtricity, and a Garbodor whose arm piping appeared to be copper, and her garbage bag remnants a shiny silver.

~~~~~

Bart grinned. "Heh, well, you saw a good example of that just now- lot of friendly battles tend to happen around here, whether for training, for fun, or just out of sheer boredom."

"And sometimes our Trainers will take part in Colosseum challenges over that way," Salazar added, with a nod in the direction of Sludge Wave Colosseum. "As a matter of fact, after dinner, it's my understanding that Keith and Willa intend to take part in a tournament there today. Of course, if you'd rather get in some battling now, I for one wouldn't mind the opportunity," the Scolipede offered.

~~~~~

"Heh, yeah, they are," Cyanide agreed as she watched her son and daughter continue to battle- now, Leo's Flamethrower was fighting against Eon's Scald, and as they watched, the attacks were stopped simultaneously, and now the siblings were going in for more physical moves- Leo was going into a Double-Edge, while Eon appeared to be going for Mega Kick.

Eve then explained that the Growlithe had been talked into letting her offspring go to different Trainers without much of a say in who they went to, or whether she'd get to see them again. By the look on her face, Cyanide was almost certainly tempted to start swearing, only holding back because of the proximity of her children. "That ain't right," she murmured. "Eon and Leo's dad, he belongs to another Trainer, but that Trainer's good friends with Keith, and we frequently arrange visits. I couldn't imagine knowing I had kids out there that I couldn't go and see whenever..." She shook her head. "If you wanna try and get that Growlithe over here, try and cheer her up some, I say go for it," she stated. At that point, Eon and Leo stepped down off the battlefield, looking tired but triumphant. "Ahaha," grinned Cyanide. "So, who won?"

"I did," said Eon and Leo simultaneously. Then, realizing what just happened, they turned to look at each other. "I did!" they repeated insistently and still in unison.

Cyanide gave a hearty laugh at this. "Alright, you two, that's enough. Now, you gonna keep arguing or do you wanna go and eat dinner?"

"Dinner!" exclaimed Eon and Leo simultaneously, smiles back in place.

"As I thought," smirked Cyanide. "Alright, c'mon, to the warp panel," she added.

"Miss Eve, are you staying for dinner?" Eon asked, stopping on her way to the warp panel in the back of the room.

"You'd be welcome to," Cyanide added. "Real easy to get to the dining room from here- warp panel leads to the kitchen, and right next to you's gonna be another warp panel going to the dining room." As she said this, Jack, back in his Ditto form, was already oozing towards the warp panel himself.

~~~~~

Remy smiled and nodded. "Definitely sounds like them," he said.

Hermione gave an appreciative nod. "I appreciate the offer nonetheless," she stated.

Eddie nodded as Melissa talked about how her parents were Trainers as well. "Oh, wow, you've really been all over," he remarked. "My parents are Trainers as well, though they've already eased up on their traveling before settling down and having me, though they've had plenty to teach me about both cryptopokology and battling," he stated. And then, Wildfire came over and asked Melissa something, which, to Eddie's surprise, the visitor seemed to understand perfectly. She commented on the Colosseum, and how the whole thing sounded like more of an Orre thing, to which Eddie nodded. "The owner of that place was born and raised in Pyrite Town," he explained. "He wanted to bring a little Orre culture over to Fizzytopia with him when he moved here. He grinned at Melissa's offer. "That would be great," he said. "Sludge Wave Colosseum doesn't normally do tag battle tournaments like this, but it's something Keith and Willa have been asking Gavin to try out for some time now. As I understand it, you should be fine just bringing one Pokémon," he added as Melissa voiced her concerns about possibly not having enough Pokémon on hand. "And even if you don't have the one you'd like to use on hand, there's a PC in the lobby for anyone to use," he added. "I still have to decide which Pokémon I'll use," he added, glancing out at his Pokémon. "I could use Battery if you're planning to use something weak to Electric attacks, as he's got Lightning Rod," he offered.
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