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Flipz

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About Flipz

Year 07
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    Turaga
  • Birthday 10/26/1991

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  1. IC: Serena/Lionel Zyther/Elaine Alderson/Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann/Calem “If I may?” Serena interjected. “It sounds to me like we have four main cities to go for.” She pulled up a map of Kalos on her pocket computer to illustrate. “Professor Alderson’s colleagues are in Ambrette Town, Olympia and the Steels are in Anistar City, and then there’s Lumiose and the Pokémon League.” “Speaking of the League, we may have an opportunity here.” Serena gave Lionel an appraising glance. “What kind of opportunity, exactly?” “It’s simple, really. We already know you and Calem are targets. With enough preparation, the hunters will become the prey.” “A trap?” Elaine lowered her head in thought. “Yes… yes, that might work. They wouldn’t expect us to be aware of their plans. If I can get you to the League, we can turn their ambush back on itself.” “What about everywhere else?” Alex asked. “I’ll warn the President. I know the man, so it should be simple to convince him of this plot and get him to safety.” “An’ ah’ll chat up Sycamore at ‘is lab. He owes me a favor or two.” “What about Korrina?” Alex asked with concern. “Not a problem,” Calem replied, “she’s out training at the moment, well outside Flare’s reach.” “Ambrette isn’t too far from here. The ferry from Cyllage should get a group there with time to spare. As for Anistar…” Serena frowned a moment, trying to remember something, before brightening. “Oh! I know! When Calem and I were traveling with Clemont, there were some really strong Flying Trainers just north of here in Kalos Canyon! I bet we can call in some favors to have them ferry a couple of people to Anistar at top speed.” “Good,” Lionel said. “Speaking of transport, I’ll rent us two cars to get us to Lumiose -- the toll roads will get us there with time to spare. I can take one, Elaine, can you handle the other?” The Professor nodded. “That would be best. I’ll be taking the Champions to the League after I drop people off within Lumiose.” “We can stop at the castle on the way,” Alex suggested. “We’ll have just enough time for a nap and to make last-minute preparations.” “So the only question left is, who else is going where? Don’t forget, we have several targets within Lumiose as well. We’ll need to be careful not to spread ourselves too thin.”
  2. IC: Amelia Zann/Alex Zyther/Lachina Adaon/Jared Winters/Lionel Zyther/Elaine Alderson/Emily Lockwood Amelia walked through the door to the cottage, duffel slung haphazardly across her back. She froze in the doorway, reversed course for several steps, then walked back in, staring around in disbelief. “Oh y’all’ve got t’be kiddin’ me.” “It’s a small multiverse,” Alex agreed, an incubator they hadn’t had in the lab clutched in one arm while the other leaned heavily on their crutch. They winced at the pressure the crutch put on their bandaged hand and quickly moved to find a chair, Bliss clucking in dismay and rushing to attend to them. Lachina had changed from her civilian training outfit back into her ranger gear and was checking all of her equipment. Jared ran a hand through his hair as he hung up on Fontaine again. “First and foremost,” he said. “Lionel and Elaine. Can they be trusted? Lionel bought up most of Flare’s assets almost as soon as they were available, and Elaine had her husband and… brother?” He glanced at Emily who nodded sullenly. “Her husband and brother worked for Team Flare, so I have to wonder how much of her family Flare got to.” “She wouldn’t--” Emily said, then cut herself off with a resigned sigh. “So,” Amelia said, “who wants to tell ‘em the good news when they get back?” At that moment, the front door burst open, with an exuberant Lionel and Elaine making a triumphant entrance. “Everyone!” Lionel exclaimed, “I’m sorry to wake you so early but Elaine and I have wonderful… news…” It took him a few moments to notice the somber mood of the room. “Is everything…?” Beside him, Elaine suddenly sucked in a sharp breath and went stark white, eyes as wide as if she’d seen a ghost. “Al… Alain…?” Emily chewed her lip. “Alex, actually. No, not my brother, but… It’s complicated?” “Alex?” Lionel asked, head jerking in the direction of Elaine’s gaze. “Alex!” “Dad!” Alex made to stand, but was held down by a stern Bliss. “Dad, I’m so glad to--” “Hold on,” Elaine said, leaning heavily against the wall in her shock, “‘Dad?’ This is your son Alex?” Lionel shot the Professor a suspicious look. “Yes? Is there a problem with that?” Elaine struggled for words. “No… it’s… if he’s your son, why does he look like mine?” She searched the faces around the room, simultaneously frantic and trying to stave off tears. Alex flinched. “Could we… not use that word, please?” Amelia stood up from her spot leaning against the wall and stepped forward. “All right, y’all, let’s maybe take it from th’ top. Ah’m Amelia Zann, ah’ve been travelin’ with Alex fer th’ past bit. Guessin’ yer th’ kid’s dad, seein’ as they called ya ‘Dad’ there a second ago.” She pointed to Elaine. “Y’all ain’t the kid’s mom, though, so who in heck’re y’all s’posed t’ be?” Startled by Amelia’s confrontation, Elaine managed to fight past her urge to hyperventilate and calm herself slightly, though she still had to take a few deep breaths before answering. “Right, yes, I should… I should introduce myself.” She seemed to register for the first time the half-dozen new additions. “I’m…” OOC: Username: Flipz Name: Professor Elaine Alderson Wiki Page: Gender: Female Faction: none Hometown: Courmarine City, Kalos Age: 58 (born 1959) Appearance: Professor Alderson fits the stereotype of “wise old Professor”, her once-auburn hair and pale blue eyes dimmed significantly by age and stress. Though she is only 58, her harsh life has aged her prematurely, leaving her bent and crushed by the weight of the world. Like most Pokémon Professors, she is never seen without her lab coat. Personality: Once effervescent and inquisitive, Elaine’s personality was slowly dimmed and crushed by a series of personal and professional tragedies. Though she is still respected amongst her peers for her work, she lacks hope in her own future, pinning all her optimism on her niece Emily Lockwood. Despite her depression, however, Elaine remains every bit the intelligent scientist she has always been, with a keen eye for Pokémon ecology and unusual changes and damage in local ecosystems. Background: Elaine started her career as a Fossil researcher in Ambrette Town, Kalos, where she met and married her husband Ezekiel. The pair became estranged, however, after the untimely death of their son Alain in 1996 at the hands of his own rampaging Charizard, with both parents burying themselves in their work. After the fall of Team Flare in 2007, Elaine’s husband and younger brother were outed as members of the Team, casting suspicion on Elaine herself and forcing her resignation from the Fossil Lab. Left without a family or a job, Elaine turned her efforts to the use of Pokémon powers in medicine, eventually discovering a means to store the essence of certain Moves for later use. The stigma of her name, however, kept her independent operation consistently underfunded, eventually forcing her to move to the similarly-stigmatized Geosenge Town to continue her work. Despite her misfortune, Elaine always does her best to support those around her, particularly children, and she sometimes serves as a secondary source of Starter Pokémon for children in Coastal Kalos who can’t make it to Lumiose to visit her friend and colleague Professor Sycamore. Equipment: Scientist-issue Pokédex (old model), Pokémon power storage unit (demonstration size only) Pokémon: Metis (Aromatisse), Cassidee (Porygon-2), Fay (Comfey) Species: Aromatisse Gender: Female Nickname: Metis Trainer: Professor Elaine Alderson Appearance: Has a black mask and black ear feathers to match. Personality: Quiet and demure, Metis often finds herself letting Fay and Cassidee boss her around despite being the eldest and most experienced member of Elaine’s team. She and Cassidee are the only remaining members of Elaine’s pre-war team. Ability: Aroma Veil/Triage Specialty: Has learned the Triage ability from Fay in addition to her normal Ability. Known Moves: Draining Kiss, Heal Pulse, Wish (egg move), Aromatic Mist, Psychic, Misty Terrain Species: Porygon-2 Gender: genderless Nickname: Cassidee Trainer: Professor Elaine Alderson Appearance: normal Personality: Affectionately referred to as Elaine’s “brains”, Cassidee leans heavily into being its Trainer’s organizer and personal assistant. Ability: Trace Specialty: Cassidee can directly control what type it transforms into with Conversion, rather than it being determined by its known moves. Known Moves: Recover, Recycle, Agility, Magic Coat, Conversion, Psychic (event move) Species: Comfey Gender: Female Nickname: Fay Trainer: Professor Elaine Alderson Appearance: Due to her extended time in Kalos instead of Alola, Fay’s flower chain is made of Fairy Flowers rather than Alolan hibiscus. Personality: Fay is a force of nature, pushily insisting on helping even when she’s neither wanted nor needed. Elaine has learned from experience not to let Fay out of her sight, lest she cause unwanted mischief while trying to “help”. Ability: Triage Specialty: Fay can “overheal” her allies beyond their normal limits while using Floral Healing or when sharing the energy taken from a Draining Kiss; however, she can only perform this feat while both Grassy (or Misty) Terrain and Sunny Day are in effect. Known Moves: Floral Healing, Draining Kiss, Synthesis, Leech Seed, Grassy Terrain, Aromatherapy Username: Flipz Name: Lionel Zyther Wiki Page: Gender: Male Faction: none Hometown: Camphrier Town, Kalos (dual Unovan citizenship through parents) Age: Appearance: Lionel has grayish-blue eyes and untidy dark brown hair. His ruthless and regal bearing are complemented by his usual choice of expensive suits and businesswear. Personality: A ruthless businessman, Lionel believes in accomplishing his goals by any means necessary. However, he also bears an unbreakable loyalty to family, so many of his worse impulses are held in check by his desire to not disappoint his loved ones. Lionel is a firm believer in responsibility, and he dodges many of the pitfalls of more short-sighted figures of wealth; to his reasoning, there is no point to wealth if there is no world in which to use it. In his personal relationship, Lionel is harsh and unyielding, though with people he cares about he attempts to leverage these qualities to their benefit. He is deeply aware of and uncomfortable with his own shortcomings, often withdrawing when he senses them affecting his loved ones rather than trying to change or overcome them. Background: Born to Unovan parents who had moved to Kalos for work, Lionel grew up under the influence of Camphrier Town’s two noble families, the Parfums and the Shabboneaus. Though he eventually ended his relationship with Lizbet Parfum (heir to the Parfum family), he eventually fell in love with the last remaining Shabboneau, Lila, and worked himself tirelessly to try and prove himself worthy of her. After the fall of Team Flare in 2007, Lionel acquired many of the companies created from the forced breakup of Lysandre Labs, becoming a powerful technology mogul seemingly overnight with his revival and revision of the popular Holo Caster. He married Lila in 2008, and with the passing of Lord Shabboneau in 2009 became the full heir of the Shabboneau fortune. His and Lila’s joy would be short-lived, however, as his bitter rivalry with Unovan businessman Obadiah Valdari turned tragic on Halloween of 2012, resulting in the death of both Lila and her unborn child. Valdari’s death that same night did little to assuage Lionel’s grief and rage, and he spent the next several months isolating himself and ruthlessly crushing his competition in equal measure. He found unexpected solace in May of 2013, however, in the form of Cassie Hikari (nee Mikazuki), who fled to him in hiding after her supposed death at the hands of her husband Gerald. With Cassie taking up the guise of her sister Christina (the woman Gerald had actually killed), the two ended up adopting an amnesiac teenager they found in Geosenge, who they named Alex; soon after, Cassie and Lionel married, with Lionel formally adopting Cassie’s daughter Lucia as well to better hide her from Gerald. With the stabilizing influence of a new family, Lionel returned to a more stable emotional state, and began focusing his attention on innovation and stabilizing his empire to ensure it could one day be passed successfully to Lucia and Alex. Equipment: High-end Holo Caster (completely unlocked/unrestricted), billionaire-tier wealth Pokémon: Hedgelord (Bisharp), Lillina (Lilligant), Gaston (Furfrou) Species: Bisharp Gender: Male Nickname: Hedgelord Trainer: Lionel Zyther Appearance: Hedgelord’s body is pristinely polished, despite the heat-warped scar running from the upper-left of his cranial dome down and across his body to his right hip, interrupted briefly just across where the heart would be on a human. He also has two holes and a partial divot burned through the blade on his right hand, and said blade also bears the faintest hint of a heat scar matching the one across his body on the interior surface. Personality: As Lionel’s starter, Hedgelord share many personality traits with his Trainer -- most notably, the same mix of pragmatism and ruthlessness that led to Lionel’s business success. Unlike Lionel, however, he substitutes stubbornness in place of ambition, which serves him well in his role as bodyguard. Hedgelord received his nickname as the result of a lost bet between Lionel and his late wife Lila; while not fond of it, he now refuses to abandon it for his Trainer’s sake. Ability: Defiant Specialty: This Bisharp can reflect some light-, lightning-, and energy-based attacks off of the metallic portions of his blades, but this comes at the cost of an increased vulnerability to his natural weaknesses. Known Moves: Iron Head, Night Slash, Slash, Swords Dance, Stealth Rock (egg move), Psycho Cut (egg move) Species: Lilligant Gender: Female Nickname: Lillina Trainer: Lionel Zyther Appearance: Lillina has blue eyes, and the leaf that looks like her "hair" is also blue. Personality: Though saddened by her original Trainer's demise, Lillina still serves Lionel faithfully. The accident that claimed Lila’s life left her quite cautious and Timid, and despite her dedication to protecting Lionel she often finds herself leaning a touch too heavily upon her Trainer’s commands. Ability: Own Tempo Specialty: Due to her experience with the balance and weight distribution needed for her dancing moves, Lillina learned how to physically grab and throw opponents with surprising ease. Known Moves: Quiver Dance, Petal Dance, Giga Drain, Leech Seed, Aromatherapy, Healing Wish (egg move) Species: Furfrou Gender: Male Nickname: Gaston Trainer: Lionel Zyther Appearance: Gaston is kept in a Dandy trim, but in cornflower blue rather than lime green. Personality: An arrogant braggart, Gaston’s insatiable ego is at least somewhat matched by his prowess in battle. Around those he actually likes, he tends to be more Impish than outright boastful; this is generally not much of an improvement. Ability: Fur Coat Specialty: Gaston’s bullheadedness makes him somewhat resistant to mind-affecting moves like Confide, Attract, Baby-Doll Eyes, etc., though he is more vulnerable to moves that inflame his ego like Flatter and Swagger. He is also especially good at expectorating. Known Moves: Retaliate, Cotton Guard, Bite, Sucker Punch, Work Up (egg move), Sand Attack
  3. IC: Alex/Amelia/Serena “That’s… probably my fault,” Alex said. “The handwriting is awful, but I think our… creator… snuck in here for one last shot at completing his work. The result, of course, being… me.” “Hmm.” Amelia seemed dissatisfied by the lack of answers. “Well, if we’re lookin’ fer info, it’d probably help if we could find their database. Didn’t that girl in red need help hackin’ a computer a second ago? “Could you?” Serena asked. “It’s less hacking than it is keeping it powered long enough to actually get anywhere.” “I could probably manage that,” Alex said. “Dad used to let me disassemble his old Holo Casters when I was bored in the hospital. I’m not the greatest, but we could probably get by.” “Ah might have a trick or two as well, if it comes t’ it.” Serena stepped back from the cobbled-together computer to allow others access. “By all means, be my guest.”
  4. IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann Raleigh and Sina shared a glance, then made noises of agreement as they slowly nodded at Zoe. They gestured towards the eggs, then themselves, then at Harvey as well, though the latter only shrugged. Alex slumped against Blissie at Dahlia's question. "I was dumped, actually. Discarded at the side of the road like trash. That's where Mom and Dad found me." Blissie crooned softly, unhappy at her Trainer's dismay. "If'n it helps," Amelia added, pulling the picture out from where she'd stashed it, "ah think these're th' other two 'subjects' they mentioned in th' reports." She held out the photo for inspection, but seemed strangely reluctant to relinquish it entirely. "Judgin' by th' dates, ah think this musta been, what, '04 or so? The only time they had two at once. Assumin' Alex was last, anyway." She chose not to draw attention to the fact that Alex's report had been almost entirely hand-written, nor to the unflattering notes given in it. Alex was dealing with enough at the moment without acknowledging their creator's attitude towards them aloud. "Ah don't know any 'Zander' person, is he the guy in the pic? Any idea who the girl'd be?"
  5. IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann “Why not?” Alex asked innocently. “Lucia’s my big sis. Amelia’s… well, I guess she’s my big sis, too. How can they both be my sister and not be each other’s sisters?” Alex paused. “Wait. Would that make Amelia the big sister or Lucia the big sister?” “Ah am not the little sister,” Amelia complained. Alex grinned mischievously. “You didn’t say you weren’t her sister at all…” “Ah-- but-- that’s not--” Amelia gave up with a sigh. “Fahn. If y’all insist…” -==IC: Serena==- Serena, for her part, was largely ignoring the family drama occurring around them. Her focus had been drawn to the single working computer in the room, a console that seemed to have been cobbled together from pieces of the others. She walked over and began fiddling with the device. It didn’t seem to require a password, thankfully, but to her frustration the power kept cutting out before she could seriously investigate. “Hey,” she called back to the others, “anyone have experience fixing computers?”
  6. IC: Alma Mason/Amelia Zann/Alex Zyther/Belle LaDonna (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017) Alma walked over, frowning a bit as she looked around. “A secret room?” Amelia looked down at the glassy fragments underfoot. “This was a mirror,” she noted, her whispered voice oddly distant. “An observation room.” Alex scowled at the thought of the arrangement. “I always hated these.” “Me too,” Amelia added before she realized what she’d said. She swore violently. “It reminds me of home,” Alma said, running a hand down the frame of the wall. Belle made a face. “Y’all’ve had real pleasant lives, y’know that?” She shook her head and made to lean against a console on the wall. “Don’t touch that!” Amelia and Alex yelled in unison. They both blinked back surprise, as Belle spotted the half-filled syringe she’d almost stuck herself with. “Gah! Friggin’ freaks!” Belle stepped back. “Can we find what we’re lookin’ for and get the h### outta here?” Amelia had gone pale. “I… think that is what we’re looking for.” Belle raised an eyebrow and carefully picked up the syringe. She held it up to the light and frowned. “What is it?” “That stuff’s called Retcon, I think. They always yelled at me if I tried to touch it. I never knew what it did, before, but I think I’ve got a pretty good idea now.” Alex stared at Amelia. “You think… but I thought stuff like this only existed in movies?” Alma shook her head. “Modern medicine can produce all sorts of mind altering substances. Amnesia, psychosis, phobias, mind control…” “Some jerk stabbed me with half a dose when I went to up that machine in the other room, but I threw him off when the thing exploded.” “It sounds like a half-dose was all they needed, then.” Alma hummed. “But what does this gain us?” “Ah don’t quite know. Everythin’ that’s comin’ back is only half-there. I’m still missin’ a piece to the puzzle. “I think this is it.” In the time Amelia had known Alex, however admittedly short, she’d never heard them sound quite this hollow. “These papers… they explain everything.” Alex was leaning bonelessly against the thing they’d bumped into earlier, a heavy metal stretcher bolted to the floor and enclosed in a half-cylinder of some sort of treated glass. The interior was covered in some sort of strange glossy memory foam, the indentation molded in the general shape of a detailed human body, down to notches for each vertebra and rib. One end of the device was enclosed in metal, the wires they’d seen in the other room attached to a pair of similar-looking terminals on this device; a glance to the far end of the room showed a number of weird plastic-looking structures sealed in sterile chambers, looking like some sort of mold for bones and organs. Alex slumped to the floor, letting the papers in their hand flutter down next to them. “I always wondered,” they said, “who I was, before Mom and Dad found me. Now I know.” Amelia shuffled over, eyes drawn to the hand-scrawled “Experiment failure, project terminated” note writ large across the final page. She gathered the sheets together, read back… and froze, tears falling softly down her face. “Oh, sweet Arceus… Pond…” Belle grabbed Amelia’s hand. Amelia began sobbing softly. She let Alma take the papers from her, offering neither resistance nor even an apparent awareness of their presence. It was several minutes before she spoke again. “Tools,” she murmured. “Experiments at best.” “We were born to fight and die,” Alex added, “Sacrificed for one huge lie.” Amelia chuckled bitterly. “Well. I guess that means it’s ‘time to say goodbye’ to this place.” Belle raised a finger, silencing the nerds. “Someone’s here,” she said as the sound of shifting glass came from the other room. Amelia snarled, a low, animalistic sound, as she thumbed the button on her Pokéballs. Wordlessly, Alex automatically did the same. “Sic ‘em.” IC: Alex Zyther (current) "…so yeah. That's… that's been our night. You?"
  7. IC: Belle LaDonna/Amelia Zann/Alma Mason/Alex Zyther (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017) Belle shuddered a bit as they entered the next room. More glass was shattered across the floor, sticky with some sort of fluid. Against one wall were several machines -- tubes or vats of some sort, the source of both the glass and the fluid. Only a handful were still intact. A conveyor belt led from the vats off into a darkened alcove. Belle didn’t want to think about where that led. As the purple haired woman moved into the room, she was flanked by her two oldest companions. Cyanide shielded her on the left, and Hemlock was on her right. Moving through the doorway caused the lights to flicker on, and the machines around them hummed as they came to life. “Wha--” Before anything else could be said, two robotic arms appeared from one of the machines, wielding strange devices. Belle lunged at the one that attacked Hemlock. She batted it away, cursing as she saw it scrape a few scales off her Dragonair. Quickly, she spun. Cyanide had grabbed the arm attacking him and broken it, though the collector noticed a gouge of shiny metal on his arm that hadn’t been there before. A monitor flashed red nearby. ‘Incomplete samples! Try again!’ Belle frowned. “Samples fer what?” “Something… something…” Amelia scowled, threading fingers through her hair and pulling tightly. “I remember… I remember something about…” Eggs. Needles. Blood. A tree that bleeds? Shouting. ‘Disposal.’ Have to save… have to save… Something metal. Long. A figure. In her way. Thrown. Sparks. Dropped, rumbling, falling… Amelia zeroed in on a machine attached to the right-hand wall, the same one through which they’d entered. Some vague memory told her it connected to Xerneas’ room, though a melted spanner had fused into and ruined the works. “I did that,” she realized, pointing to the sabotage. “I… I remember doing that. To save… to save someone…” “Xerneas?” Alex guessed. She shook her head. “No. Well, yes, but also I… I needed her help…” She stared back at the mangled machinery, and suddenly frowned. “Hey,” she said, “look at this.” Above the ruined portion of the machine sat an empty canister, practically pristine compared to the state of most of the equipment, perched haphazardly upon the casing. A number of wires had been jury-rigged from the interior of the machine to a pair of terminals atop the canister, and a heavy cable had been hooked up to the output and run through the broken wall to the next room. “…This I don’t remember. This… wasn’t like this the last time I was here.” “I remember it like this.” Alex suddenly clapped their hands to their mouth, horrified at their own realization. “You were here, too?” Belle asked, putting a hand on Alex’s back. The group stood in uncomfortable silence. “Come,” Amelia said. “Let us keep going.”
  8. IC: Amelia Zann/Alex Zyther/Belle LaDonna/Alma Mason (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017) “This way,” Amelia ordered quietly, a strangely confident order considering this was at least the fifth turn they’d made in as many minutes. Alex exchanged a look with the others. “How do you know?” Amelia flinched at the question. “I… honestly have no idea. I just do.” “Awright, miss fancy pants, no need to be all ‘high society’ like the kid here,” Belle said with a teasing smile. Amelia startled at the realization. “Am I?” Alma nodded. “Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time with them.” “It’s… rather creepy, actually.” Amelia was troubled. “This is…” She bit her lip nervously. “I keep getting… flashes,” she admitted. “Like I did in the Flare universe, but… worse.” “You never mentioned this before,” Belle said quietly. “Why didn’t you tell me?” “I just… didn’t want to worry you, okay? You were… the other you had just… and I didn’t want you to have to deal with me on top of all that.” The purple-haired woman grabbed her companion’s hand again and squeezed. “It’s fine, just tell me things in the future, okay, hon?” It was Alex who next broke the moment. “Hey,” they said, “that’s… you should see this.” Before them stood a pair of great sliding doors, heavy riveted metal several inches thick… twisted and torn like so much tinfoil. Beyond, in the darkness, lay a pedestal most familiar to Alex, blackened and warped nearly beyond recognition. “That’s where they kept Xerneas,” they said worriedly. “It’s… already loose.” “Then that means Xerneas is probably long gone,” Belle commented. “Good thing, too, given what you said happened when it saw you last time.” Alex nodded, but the dread churning in their gut refused to settle. “You know, we… never found out why they had her in the first place.” “Life,” Amelia said. “Xerneas is a Legendary Pokémon connected to life. They needed her power for… something.” “Immortality?” Alex supplied. “Legends say that when its horns shine in all the colors of the rainbow, it is sharing everlasting life.” “It was a tree. A tree of life. White bark with black markings, like the tree of Gondor in Minas Tirith.” Belle frowned. “You haven’t read Lord of the Rings, Pond. I tried to get ya to, and you said it was boring. What gives?” Amelia didn’t have an answer for that. “Come on,” Alex said. “Let’s take a closer look.”
  9. OOC: Bunnying Lucia with Blade's permission. IC: Alex Zyther/Amelia Zann (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017) "What he said! Stand down!" Alex ordered. Raleigh, already disengaged, began picking his way back through the glass toward his Trainer, while Didi scampered joyfully to atop Blissie's head. The motion reminded Alex of the rest of their team. "Oh, right, you too Blissie, Syl-- erm. Sylvia." A rather relieved Blissie made her own way to Alex, picking her Trainer up from the floor and clucking concernedly as Alex winced at the shards of mirror-glass that fell from them. The Eevee in question seemed confused by the sudden change in nickname, but seemed to recognize Alex was addressing it. It wagged its heart-patterned tail at Alex, though remained at Pelleas' side and away from the shard-coated floor. Amelia glared at the newcomers with distrust, but decided to give Alex and Belle the benefit of the doubt. "Sina, Harvey, back." Harvey hit the wall, hard. Unsurprisingly, the "move slow to move fast" strategy worked poorly when the other party controlled the momentum. He let himself slump to the ground as the silver-haired human ordered the intruders to stand down, relieved when his Trainer ordered said compliance a moment later. He grumbled slightly to himself, not happy at how quickly the fight had turned against him and considering what he'd need to improve his durability in the future. Sina tracked the spinning Ice-type as it shot back towards her. She leaped into the air, claws extended as she began her own spin, intending to let gravity aid her in a guillotine-like descent. Unfortunately, Amelia's command came first, and the annoyed Dark-type was forced to sheath her claws -- though she could not resist coming to rest directly atop the Vanilluxe's body and casually cleaning herself as if it had been her attention all along. Lucia looked at the hand her would-be murderer offered her and hesitantly accepted it. "So what are you doing here, anyways?" Alex winced, and not from the glass shards. "That's… a bit of a long story…" IC: Alex Zyther/Alma Mason (Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 11th, 2017, 11:07 P.M.) Alex sighed heavily, shaking their head in a mixture of annoyance and amusement. They were happy for the two -- really, they were -- but did they have to be so loud? Alma rubbed at one eye, fighting a yawn as she glared at Alex. “Will you explain now why you woke me up and rushed me out of the hotel?” “Er… that is to say…” “Di! Di di!” Alex had never felt as much gratitude toward Didi as they had in that moment. “What is it? What did you--?” They stopped cold, recognizing the path Didi had lead them towards. Annoyance was replaced with concern as Alma saw the look on Alex’s face. “What is wrong?” she asked. She pulled a knife from her apron, looking around warily. “It’s…” Alex shook their head. “This is… this is where Mom and Dad found me. The first place I remember, ever.” They glanced back at the rest of the group. Alma tilted her head in thought, while Didi and Coralie displayed a mixture of curiosity and concern for their Trainer. Raleigh, though, was petrified. “Raleigh?” The shiny Ralts stepped forward, walking toward a large ivy-covered boulder as if in a trance, murmuring to himself in a clearly horrified tone. “Raleigh, what’s wrong? Why--?” As Alex brushed aside the curtain of plant matter, their hand brushed across a door behind it. A very familiar door. Alex turned to look at Alma. “We need to get the others.”
  10. IC: Alex Zyther Alex had no idea how to respond to everything that had started happening. The black-haired Trainer had sent out their Pokémon at Amelia's command by pure reflex, but the sudden influx of intruders had completely overwhelmed them. A familiar voice calling out from the crowd started to break through their stupor, however. "Alex? Is that you?" Alex's eyes widened. "Big sis?" they murmured. Before they could respond, Alma had jumped Lucia. "No!" they shouted, leaping to their feet only to collapse back to the ground with a wince as their hands made contact with the mirror shard-covered floor. "Don't hurt her!" They saw the two Pokémon Lucia had sent out, saw Raleigh stepping between them and Didi in an aggressive stance. "Stop!" they ordered, the Ralts turning around in total confusion. Blissie and Sylph initially made to bound back to their Trainer, but suddenly stopped as Alex's sister came under threat. Blissie froze, torn between her duty to her Trainer and her duty to halt harm, while Sylph whimpered in dismay, hopping from paw to paw. Unable to scamper across the shattered glass, the Eevee yipped in determination and went to find Pelleas, hoping the Heracross could help Lucia just as they had together in Celadon.
  11. OOC: autohit for grab granted by Minun IC: Amelia Zann's team/Alex Zyther's team Sina was, indeed, well faster than the Timid Ice-type. She scanned the battlefield, finding herself a far more suitable target, and smirked at the perfection of her plan. The Sneasel zipped underneath the Vanilluxe, grabbing the cone's lowermost tip and swinging in a circle before flinging it away from her. Sina snorted smugly as the Vanilluxe went flying towards the Dragonair that had planted itself in front of the cluster of humans; she may not have had access to her own Icicle Crash, but so long as the other Ice-type remained on the field, she had the next best thing. Harvey was proving to be a particularly annoying opponent. Paradoxically, despite moving with a slowness befitting his Rock typing, the Larvitar was somehow vanishing from his position as soon as a blow was about to land, a style that would ordinarily be more befitting the Psychic-type teleporter facing him. However, an evasive defense was worthless without offense, so when he spotted an opportunity to bite the back of the Elgyem's oversized head, he took it, despite the lost potential of evasion in that moment. Raleigh saw the Ghost-type reaching out towards him and groaned. Physical combat was not his forte, and Ghost-types were, if anything, worse. Fortunately, he had a savior. ["Raleigh!"] a voice called, ["Switch!"] As they had in their previous battle, Raleigh pivoted places with Coralie, the Rock-type still nowhere near an ideal matchup but at least not quite at such a glaring, crippling disadvantage. Raleigh winced as the Gripper Pokémon latched on to the fledgling Diancie, but found himself distracted as two new combatants emerged to face Didi… and the latter stopped cold. The Antenna Pokémon came to a screeching halt before letting out a high-pitched squeal of… delight? What exactly was going on here?
  12. -==IC: Gold Team - Team Flare Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12==- The next room the group entered was very different from the previous two. It was furnished, for one, and the tiled floor had been replaced with a short, rough dark gray carpet tile. The walls here were painted a pale orange, and there was even a set of four screens arranged like a paned window. There the hominess stopped, however; the two beds were small and firm, the fabric of the plain white sheets likely rough even when they were new. There were no blankets. The beds were placed symmetrically, linked only by a small half-rotted bookcase and the rusting frame of what used to be a folding paper room divider. A tiny shelf sat above each bed, each holding a simple battery-operated alarm clock (both broken) and one with a simple bedside lamp (also broken). The room had obviously been disturbed by the intruders. One bed lay messy and rumpled, the dust also disturbed as if someone had stat atop it, and the drawers had been opened and rummaged through, women’s Flare uniforms of slightly different sizes hanging haphazardly out of their drawers. The rusted frame of what was once a folding paper room divider did little to hide the mess, nor the sparsely-filled bookcase on one side. The nearer side of said bookcase held only two books, but they were of immediate note: one a thick, military-looking manual proudly bearing a stylized icon of flame that was clearly Team Flare’s insignia, and the other a smaller three-ring binder next to it bearing a smaller version of the insignia above a different logo shaped somewhat like a dumbbell. Inside lay a litany of scientific reports, some bearing Lysandre’s name and others that of Dr. Xerosic, but every last one bore one name in common: Dr. Alderson. Many of them were related to the study of some kind of unusual energy source, but the latter papers began to shift from general usage to specific application, with mention of uses in the manipulation of life itself. Unfortunately, this copy of the book had been damaged, with the last few pages torn out and taken away. Of course, with so much to take in, no one had noticed the sound of crying had suddenly stopped. As Serena shifted a step backward towards the room’s lone black wall, she stumbled and trod upon something, the sound of glass shards crunching underfoot. “Someone’s here,” someone said. There was the sound of several Pokéballs opening. “Sic ‘em,” came a hoarse, feminine voice. A myriad of indistinct blurs shot out of the darkness, poised for attack.
  13. -==IC: Serena/Calem==- (Collapsed Team Flare Secret Lab, Geosenge Town, Kalos, August 12, 2017) It took the group some time to regain their bearings, the others’ footsteps echoing disorientingly through the lab’s many dead ends, some planned, some not. After a few minutes, the footsteps faded entirely, leaving the group to their own devices for navigation. Fortunately, two of their number had been here before, even if their information was a decade out of date. “Oh! I know where we are!” Serena exclaimed. “Look!” Before them stood a pair of great sliding doors, heavy riveted metal several inches thick… twisted and torn like so much tinfoil. Beyond, in the darkness, lay a pedestal blackened and warped nearly beyond recognition, surrounded by dangling cables that seemed to have been ripped apart. “We spent ages trying to get through this door,” Serena explained, “but in the end we decided to concentrate on taking down Lysandre. When we made our escape, whatever they’d kept in here had already broken free and set off all the explosions. We never saw what it was, but we think it must have been one of Kalos’ Legendary Pokémon.” “Sure would’ve been nice,” Calem said wistfully. “Imagine capturing the Guardians of Life and Death and taking them into the final confrontation.” “Yeah,” Serena teased, “and then Lysandre would have Mega Evolved his Gyarados or something and made it an even fight.” “Pffft, nah,” Calem said as he nudged his friend. “Mega Evo wasn’t even discovered until last week!” “True. If the rumors are true, Mega Evolution requires a strong bond between Trainer and Pokémon. I don’t think Lysandre could ever really care about anything but himself.” “Lucky for us. He was problematic enough without having actual friends backing him up during a fight.” He paused, frowning. “Hey, you guys go on ahead, I just thought of something. I’m gonna go investigate somewhere else, alright?” The Champion’s countenance grew grave. “Good idea,” she said. ”Be safe.” Calem nodded coolly. “I will.” The group pressed on.
  14. -==IC: Flare Lab==- The secret lab was in shambles, cracks and rubble and collapsed walls littering the once pristine and glossy surfaces. Much of it bore a thick layer of rocky dust, but some sections significantly lacked the omnipresent covering -- a metallic panel, now twisted and lying haphazardly on the floor next to an open wall of melted and fused wiring, an assortment of rubble beneath a conspicuously pitted ceiling. It was Calem who had to explain. “Just a couple weeks ago, the town was woken up by an earthquake -- magnitude 4.5, the aftershocks could be felt all the way over in Anistar -- and saw that the rubble here had shifted,” Calem explained. “Serena and I were called in to investigate, make sure that there wasn’t a sinkhole or something. We dug out a lot of the rubble and were pretty surprised not to find any bodies. “What we did find, however, were three of Kalos’ starter Pokémon, all with the unique coloration that people have taken to calling ‘shiny.’ That, coupled with a wall of rock we couldn’t dig past with the Pokemon we had on hand, made us decide to head back to Lumiose to resupply.” Other signs, however, were much less coincidental. Two pairs of footprints, in and then out, meandered through the rubble, half-covered in dust themselves and in places obscured by new collapses, but atop them several fresh sets also ran, the smooth black tile beneath clearly visible through the disturbances. These, too, wandered, but merely paused at each room, each cell they passed. Oh, yes, the cells. Where the first few rooms had been guard posts and armories, perched precariously atop stairs and opposite now-useless elevators, the path they were now forced to walk led them past row after row of thick-barred cell doors, the spaces within utterly blank boxes despite their size. The Champion sighed. “These are troubling. Serena and I, we never saw these the first time we were here -- before the lab collapsed, that is. We only made it a short ways down before we took an elevator directly to the bottom level to fight with Lysandre. So far, we haven’t found any more cells, and none meant for long-term captivity.” A white-tiled laboratory, gurney equipped with both restraints and monitors barely obscuring a conspicuous inbuilt crematorium behind them, gave answer to the final fate of most victims of Flare kidnapping. “Flare worked in secret for a long time before Lysandre made his final play. People would go missing, and a lot of those people weren’t ever found. It’s hard to say how many were taken by Flare, or for what purposes.” Serena looked away uncomfortably. “I think I have a pretty good idea of their ‘purpose’, actually.” Calem had been born in Kalos, but she was originally from Kanto; Flare had been quite insistent in making sure she never forgot that fact. Quietly, Calem reached over and squeezed her hand. Serena smiled softly at that. “Thanks, Calem.” He nodded. “Let’s move on,” he said to the rest of the group.
  15. IC: Serena/Emily Lockwood “Hey Em!” Serena called as Emily searched the cabin, “Remind me again who we’re looking for?” “Lionel Zyther and my aunt Elaine Alderson. Scientists. Lionel owns a ton of labs that Flare used to operate..” Emily groaned, rubbing at her forehead. “Cripe, they said they were going to be pulling an all-nighter at one of them.” “Alderson… where have I heard that name before?” “She’s one of the leading experts in Pokémon habitats and behaviors; even Professor Sycamore doesn’t know as much about wild Pokémon habits as she does. She’s pioneering research into healing powers like Heal Pulse and Wish, with the hope of developing technology that can do similar things.” Emily smiled. “She’s pretty darn awesome. Oh, she also used to help at the fossil lab, too, but she switched career paths after the whole Flare incident.” “Oh!” Serena blinked as two conflicting faces flashed through her mind. “I think I remember now. She helped me revive my Amaura from a Fossil. She was so sweet, why did she leave?” The Champion frowned for a moment. “Oh, I hope Flare didn’t give her trouble just for helping me and Calem…” Emily shook her head, sighing. “Team Flare didn’t bother her, really, but . . . Well, let’s just say some people she was really close to turned out to be working with Team Flare. They were in the lab when it collapsed. She lost almost everything she had to Flare. Afterwards, the people at the lab would give her the side-eye and whisper behind her back. Team Flare stole fossils from the nearby cave, and the people at the lab thought she might have helped.” “That’s ridiculous!” Serena declared. “She’s the one who asked us to stop them!” “I know that, and you know that, but it didn’t change their opinions. That, coupled with her wanting to ‘atone’ -- nevermind that she didn’t do anything wrong, it was all Ezekiel and… nevermind -- made her look into the field of healing instead of reviving.” “That’s so sad.” Serena shook her head. “People can be so cruel. At least she’s back on her feet now, though -- you said she’s working with Lionel Zyther? The billionaire?” “Yeah,” Emily said quietly, scowling. “Not sure how I feel about him. He seems like he wants to take over the world, and my dad would be furious if he knew we were traveling with the guy -- ‘Don’t trust rich men in fancy suits,’ that’s what he always said. But he has Elaine captivated, talking about how he can fund her and stuff.” Serena’s mind drifted back a decade, to a wealthy, captivating man in an orange suit speaking to the then-Champion of Kalos in a Lumiose cafe. “That sounds like good advice to me,” she agreed. “It always seemed weird how he just took over all that Flare stuff like nothing ever happened. But when Calem and I looked into it, we never found anything suspicious. Not even the International Police could.” She paused. “Then again,” she giggled, “if he hadn’t kept up the Holo Caster, I’m not sure Calem could function at all. That man can barely dress himself some days.” Emily chuckled. “Yeah, I guess that is a good thing. He mentioned once that he bought Flare’s assets because they were cheap and nobody else was buying. Makes sense, I guess. Anyways, we should catch up with the others and let them know.” “Right.” The two headed back outside and took off towards the lab.
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